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This farmer gave away millions of potatoes to people in need across North America

He wanted to use the surplus potatoes for animal feed, a non-profit helped him donate them instead.

This farmer gave away millions of potatoes to people in need across North America
Representative Cover Image Source: Pixabay | Christos Giakkas

In our society, there's a significant gap in resource availability between the rich and the poor. While the wealthy often have more than enough, many others struggle to afford proper meals. When Isaiah Hofer found himself with a surplus of potatoes from his fields, he chose to help bridge this gap. Rather than selling or discarding the excess, Hofer decided to distribute the potatoes to families in need across North America, reports SunnySkyz.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

He told CBC Radio they had around 100,000 bags of surplus potatoes. "In potato language, a bag is 100 pounds," he explained. Due to last year's weather, many farmers across Canada ended up with excess yields. Typically, surplus can be sold, but not when every farmer has extra. Initially, he considered using the potatoes for animal feed or fertilizer. Then, he received an email from the Keystone Potato Producers Association, mentioning the non-profit Farmlink Project.

The Farmlink Project works to prevent food waste by donating surplus food to families in need. Kate Nelson, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder, said, "We were seeing on the news these really dramatic lines at food banks. At the same time, we saw food having to be thrown away due to supply chains being shut down. We thought, 'Huh, this feels like one problem can solve the other.'" They have delivered 220 million pounds of fresh produce to people in need across the United States.

Hofer teamed up with Farmlink to donate the potatoes, facing the challenge of transporting the surplus. Hofer provided labor, and he and Nelson secured donations from a local charity and the McCain food company. Simplot Canada assisted with packaging, which cost $30,000, according to CBC Radio.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mark Stebnicki
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mark Stebnicki

Then, 115 trucks collected the surplus potatoes for distribution to food banks in Toronto, British Columbia, San Diego, and New Mexico. Hofer wasn't the only donor; the non-profit received about 12 million pounds of potatoes, divided into small batches. Although grateful, the organization faced challenges. "It kind of gets complicated, because not every food bank wants 40,000 pounds of potatoes," said Nelson. She added that it is one of the biggest donations that their organization has ever received.

Nelson said that it also shows what people can achieve together. "I think the story is about just being brave and trusting the process … it really is collaboration at the end of the day," she said. Hofer felt satisfied that he was able to give back. When you're blessed with so much, it's just good to give back, and I'm just glad we could do that," he expressed.

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