Truckloads of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) potatoes have started to arrive at food banks across Canada, part of an effort to distribute potatoes left sitting in Island warehouses because of the 10-week ban on exports to the United States.
As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the P.E.I. Potato Board is helping to co-ordinate the shipments, along with two of the country’s largest food bank organizations, with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
John VanderZwaag grew up on P.E.I. and is now operations manager at a produce marketing and distribution company in Toronto. He has been involved with Second Harvest Canada for more than six years, helping to facilitate donations of P.E.I. potatoes to the organization, around a million pounds per year. He said it was now time to give back.
The first truck load of potatoes arrived Wednesday at Feed Nova Scotia, one of six bi-weekly shipments planned for the organization. “To get six trailer loads of potatoes, that’s sixty pallets, which is a huge quantity of potatoes,” said executive director Nick Jennery. “But the good news is that we will quickly distribute them to 140 food banks, shelters and meal programs around the province.”
The P.E.I. Potato Board is helping with the logistics, which will also include another large national organization, Food Banks Canada. Board marketing specialist Mark Phillips said it has been good for farmers to see loads of potatoes leaving the Island heading to the food banks.
Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Nick Jennery of Feed Nova Scotia holds one of the bags from the first of six truck loads of P.E.I. potatoes that will be part of the food bank program. (Submitted to CBC News by Nick Jennery)