Too many tomatoes? Garden overflowing with zucchini? While most people think of canned and dried goods for food donation, many hunger relief organizations also welcome fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider your home and community gardens to extend your food donations beyond your pantry. Your homegrown produce can make a difference to increase food security in your own community!
We have compiled a list of resources below, so you can easily donate food near you.
Do you have extra fresh produce from your garden?
Fresh Food Connect is on a mission to grow a more local and resilient food system by connecting gardeners with their communities. Gardeners use the Fresh Food Connect app to schedule donations of homegrown produce to hunger relief organizations in their communities. Download the Fresh Food Connect App to donate your homegrown produce today!
AmpleHarvest.org maintains a listing of local food pantries that accept fresh produce. Find a Pantry to Donate Food is an interactive map that helps gardeners locate food pantries near you.
Freedges are public refrigerators that provide a place for people to donate, share, and obtain food within the community. Foods that can be donated include fresh produce, prepackaged baked and dry foods, commercially packaged foods, dairy products, and labeled home-cooked meals. All home-cooked meals must be labeled with date of donation, food description, and list of allergens. Visit Find a Freedge to utilize the interactive map to locate a community fridge near you.
Locations for Food Banks and Food Pantries
Feeding America is the largest food bank network in the nation. They have 200 food banks in the network and 60,000 food distribution sites. Approximately 4.3 billion meals are distributed each year. Find your local Food Bank. Feeding America provides an interactive map to find food banks in your state and zip code. Specific instructions on where to donate, receive, and volunteer can be found by clicking the food bank of your choice. [Please note: The link only connects you with food banks in-network with Feeding America]
Midwest Food Bank is a faith-based, national food bank in 10 locations across the US. Find out if Midwest Food Bank is activated in your state and donate to a Midwest food bank.
Foodpantries.org is a great place to find food pantries and soup kitchens in your local community.
WhyHunger helps connect you with your local food pantries through the phone [1(800) 5-HUNGRY] or by texting your zip code to [1-800-548-6479]. Please note, WhyHunger’s purpose is to assist food insecure populations locate food, therefore some food pantries listed might not accept food donations.
FoodFinder is an interactive map to find food pantries in your zip code. Similar to WhyHunger, FoodFinder helps food insecure individuals locate food. Through FoodFinder, additional contact information, types of services provided, and operation hours can be found by clicking the food pantry of your choice.
Looking for other, more non-traditional options
Little Free Pantries are small pantries that provide a space for people to donate what they can and take what they need. It is a great place to donate small amounts of nonperishable foods and personal care products to people in your community. Mini pantry movement is an interactive map that locates little free pantries in your community.
Food not Bombs is a food rescue organization aimed to decrease hunger through the distribution of vegan and vegetarian meals to communities in need. Visit here to locate and donate to a Food not Bombs location near you.
Other Resources to Locate and Donate to Hunger Relief Organizations
Homeless Shelters Directory provides information on homeless shelters, food pantries, and soup kitchens by state. It provides information to locate and donate food to housing insecure and homeless populations.
Swipe out Hunger is a national organization aimed to decrease hunger for college students. Colleges partnered with Swipe out Hunger can be found here. Swipe out Hunger organizes events such as “The Swipe Drive” to collect food donations.
What if every gardener planted just one extra plant to share?
One small donation can have a tremendous impact. Just imagine, if every gardener planted one extra plant to share, collectively, we would have an abundant source of fresh, healthy produce available to be distributed to families experiencing food insecurity in our own communities! The free Fresh Food Connect mobile app connects you to a local hunger relief program, then manages and tracks your donations of homegrown produce throughout the season. Download the app today!