BOUNTIFUL—As harvest time nears, many casual farmers find that they have more fruit and vegetables than they can use. When this is the case, the Bountiful Community Food Pantry and their partner, Green Urban Lunch Box, have ways that your excess fruit and produce can go to those in need in our community including seniors and school children.
The FruitShare program with The Green Urban Lunch Box helps to rescue fruit from trees that go unnoticed and unused year after year. The edible fruits often end up on the ground while some residents of the city remain hungry. The Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) has a program to ease the burden of harvesting trees by doing it for residents at no cost to ensure that the fruit does not go to waste.
“This program not only serves the homeowners, but also benefits those individuals without access to fresh foods. It’s is a win-win for our residents and the community as a whole,” said Aaron Porter, the volunteer coordinator for GULB.
The FruitShare program gives homeowners a chance to register their fruit trees at theGreenUrbanLunchBox.com, and then the organization coordinates volunteers to harvest the fruit when necessary. Volunteers go home with the feeling of bettering their community. The harvest is distributed three ways: the homeowner takes up to a third, the volunteers are eligible to take a third, and the remaining goes to immediate hunger relief organizations. Food pantries, soup kitchens, and the like all benefit from the tasty and nutritious fruits that are salvaged by the program.
Homeowners are eligible for a tax deduction for the value of the fruit, up to $1,500 per tree. The Green Urban Lunchbox aims to ensure perfectly edible fruits find their way to the table of those who are in need of a healthy meal.
Those interested in getting involved with the organization can call 801-318-1745, or check out GULB’s website at: theGreenUrbanLunchBox.org to register a tree, sign up to volunteer, or learn more about other opportunities.
Other fruit and vegetables can be donated directly to the Bountiful Community Food Pantry Monday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m.
“We are always trying to find sources of healthy food for the individuals and families we serve. Donations of produce that is fresh from the garden provide a special treat for individuals who are often unable to pay for good, healthy produce,” said Lorna Koci, Executive Director of the Bountiful Community Food Pantry.
Call 801-299-8464 for more information on pantry donations or ways to volunteer at the pantry.