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An Idaho farm is giving away 2 mil pounds of potatoes because coronavirus has hurt demand

With coronavirus severely affecting the potato supply chain, a farm in Idaho is giving awayabout 2 million pounds of potatoes so they don’t go to waste, Alisha Ebrahimji of CNN reports.

Ryan Cranney, CEO of Cranney Farms in Oakley, Idaho, about 150 miles from Boise, told CNN the majority of his potatoes from the farm are typically sold to grocery stores and to restaurants to make french fries.

Because of stay-at-home orders throughout the nation, Cranney said the food service demand is down significantly, leaving him with six months worth of crop.

“With people staying at home, these restaurants have shut down and so our markets have just kind of fallen apart,” Cranney said. “The factories that we sell to for french fries, they’ve lost their sales and had to shut their factories down with freezers full of french fries and so the outlets for our potatoes, we’re having a difficult time getting them to market.”

Initially, Cranney said he posted about the crop on Facebook, urging members of his community of about 700 people to show up at the farm and grab as many potatoes as they want. But now, people are driving hours to pick some up. “The response has completely blown me away,” Cranney said. “People are coming from all over the place.”

Cranney said food banks and soup kitchens are also starting to show up. Most of the people who have come for the potatoes are doing it for others, grabbing them for friends and neighbors.

Report by CNN published here.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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