Food is an essential part of life, not only is it a pleasure to come together for a home cooked meal, but what we put in our bodies is what sustains us. Certain foods are better for this sustenance and will help us live longer healthier lives, and we all know they aren’t chocolate. Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is crucial since they provide essential vitamins and nutrients that you can’t find in other types of food.
For many Americans access to these important fresh foods is limited or nonexistent for two reasons; a particular location does not have access to stores that sell fruits and vegetables, known as a food desert or produce is too expensive to purchase.
There is a great organization here in Baltimore that addresses both of these issues. Gather Baltimore is a volunteer-based program that collects fresh produce donated from local farmers markets and redistributes it to organizations and people in areas that lack a healthy food source. After the farmers markets are done for the day and vendors are packing up, Gather Baltimore volunteers ask for donations of food that did not sell or they gather salvageable food that was just left there. The food collected would not stay fresh until the next market, so an additional benefit Gather Baltimore provides is ensuring that food does not become rotting waste and litter the market.
According to this article, Gather Baltimore’s founder initially received donations of dented produce that could be used for cooking at soup kitchens. After understanding the program and seeing its success, farmers are now also donating quality produce that can be given or sold at a reasonable price to those in need.
If you are interested in volunteering with or donating to Gather Baltimore click here to find out more information.