Apples for the needy
Second Harvest distributes more than 100,000 pounds of fresh apples a month.
Sherry Wallis, director of the Post Falls, Idaho, food bank, puts Second Harvest canned apple sauce in the shopping cart.
Photo courtesy of Second Harvest
Second Harvest Inland Northwest is seeking donations of fruit from growers or packing houses for its network of food banks.
Second Harvest, which is based in Spokane, Washington, distributes food to 275 food banks and meal centers in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.
Rod Wieber, director of donor and community relations, said the charity always appreciates donations of fresh fruit, especially apples, because they’re nutritious and are not something that food banks can afford to buy at the grocery store.
Second Harvest can pick up donations, which can be either packed or loose in bins. Bins can be returned. The association distributes about three to four semi-trucks (more than 100,000 pounds) of apples each month.
Wieber said Second Harvest is using a greater proportion of fresh foods as supplies of shelf-stable products have declined. Fresh produce now makes up 60 percent of the food it distributes. And, the total amount of food it handles has increased by more than 50 percent since 2008. “It really speaks to the growing need we’re seeing out there in all communities,” he said.
Earlier this year, Second harvest partnered with Independent Foods, LLC, of Yakima, Washington to process apples into sauce, which has a much longer shelf life than fresh apples. A total of 5,447 cases (each containing 24 fifteen-ounce cans) were produced and distributed to food banks.
Two of Independent’s suppliers, Hansen Fruit & Cold Storage of Yakima and Chelan Fruit of Chelan, donated apples for the sauce. Crown, Cork & Seal Company, Inc., in Seattle provided the cans. Valley Printing of Ceres, California, printed a private label with the Second Harvest name for the cans. Pacific Power and Light provided free electrical power for the production, and International Paper provided the cartons.
Wieber hopes the project can be repeated next year.
To donate fruit, phone (509) 252-6259 or email email@example.com.