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No food justice advocate would disagree that the way to achieve food equality is to solve the problem of distribution. It's about logistics - how can fresh, healthy food be allocated without spoiling, when it is a much safer bet for food pantries to stick to canned and processed foods that last forever? Issues of food access and food waste are dually tackled on a new website, Ample Harvest.
It's an online forum that links produce with those who need it most. They provide information to supermarkets, farmers, and home vegetable-gardeners about drop off sites, food drives, and community kitchens. In 2011, more than 5000 food pantries were listed, and over 20 million pounds of produce were donated to feeding the hungry and under-lettuced. That is food that would otherwise leave the system as composted waste or clutter in our garbage system.
Maybe the best part of the website, says Founder Gary Oppenheimer, is that it "allows gardeners, even those without much money, to become the Bill Gates of their communities." Anybody with a yard and a couple of hours can plant an extra row of kale, or a container of tomatoes. In doing so, they help the millions of Americans who are tragically cut off from local produce. Food justice is a community effort, and Ample Harvest is at the leading edge.
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