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Gardener's surplus fruits and vegetables feeding hungry

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY- Waiting at an Arcata farm are boxes of fresh vegetables ready to be donated to Food For People's Gleaning Program. The program takes surplus food from farms, gardens and fruit trees and distributes them among seniors and families experiencing food insecurity.

Last year, the food pantry collected 73,678 pounds of food that would otherwise go to waste. The food is given to the organization by farmers, gardeners and residents with fruit trees. The food is then distributed to over 12,000 people locally.

Local Food Resources Coordinator with the organization, Laura Hughes, said she hopes more people will take part in the program this summer. She said many families can not afford fresh vegetables, many of which are organic.

Hughes said homeowners often buy homes with fruit trees that go unused. The program, she said, can also harvest food for donors.

Anyone who would like to be part of the Gleaning Program can call Food For People at 445-3166