Produce for Pantries: Give your surplus produce to those in need | VailDaily.com

Produce for Pantries: Give your surplus produce to those in need

By Patricia Esperon
Special to the Daily

It is that time of year again gardeners when you are giving away tomatoes and zucchinis by the bucketful to your neighbors. While sharing with friends and neighbors is a great practice, when there is just too much to go around there is another option.

According to Feeding America, at least 6.6% of Eagle County residents are struggling with food insecurity. That means that over 3,550 residents have trouble purchasing the food that they need.

The Salvation Army serves approximately 500 households per month. Other food pantries, churches, and mobile markets, such as the Community Market provide food for hundreds of others. Produce for Pantries is a program that encourages the home gardener, school gardener, or community gardens to donate their unneeded produce to local food pantries. Food pantries are often lacking in fresh produce. Fresh and local produce is a precious commodity for those who are recipients. It is a rare treat.

Some locals have been collecting produce and donating for years. Rebecca Hollister faithfully brings produce from the EagleVail Community Gardens to the Vail Valley Salvation Army on Mondays throughout the growing season. She brings it in, weighs it, and marks the weight on the Produce for Pantries clipboard. She is helping other people in the valley who do not have adequate access to high-quality food such as the beautiful produce that she donates.  

Lora and Steve Silagy of Aqualogic also contribute their produce. Last year they had a bumper crop of several types of produce from their garden including carrots, squash, and arugula.

If you are a local gardener in Eagle County, please consider donating your excess produce to The Vail Valley Salvation Army at 322 East Beaver Creek Blvd in Avon. We’re open  Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or to the Community Market at 760 Lindbergh Drive, Unit No. 7 in Gypsum, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

If you have further questions about the program or any other food assistance programs in the Vail Valley, please call: Vail Valley Salvation Army at 970-748-0704 or The Community Market at 970-977-1093.