Consumers, North America

Prince Edward Island farmers giving away 18 million pounds of potatoes to food banks across Canada

The bad news is that Prince Edward Island potato farmers are currently facing a federal government-imposed ban on potato shipments to the U.S. because of the discovery of potato wart in some of the province’s crop.

As Darren Taylor reports for Sootoday.com, the good news is that PEI farmers are shipping out millions of pounds of edible potatoes – before they perish – with the help of Toronto-based Second Harvest to food banks in communities across Canada.

About 18 million pounds of potatoes – or approximately 300 truckloads – are being sent out. That represents approximately six per cent of the total loss of seed potatoes PEI farmers cannot export.

The Emergency Food Security Fund gave $3.5 million to Second Harvest to purchase surplus PEI potatoes from growers, that funding covered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Second Harvest purchased $2 million worth of potatoes – 12 million pounds of them – the balance of $1.5 million used to cover transportation costs to food banks across Canada.

Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food recovery organization. “It’s an unfortunate situation to have occurred (for PEI’s potato farmers) but for us we’re happy that we’re able to prevent that food from going to waste and also able to get it to organizations that are serving communities,” said Madison Maguire, Second Harvest head of operations.

Source: Sootoday.com. Read the full story here
Photo and related article: ‘The Welcome Hall gets the potatoes to feed the needy instead of the potatoes being destroyed,’ says Mac Watson, who personally bought and shipped P.E.I. potatoes. Photo credit Welcome Hall Mission

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