Manitoba Farmer Gives Away Millions Of Potatoes To People In Need

May 20, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Manitoba, Canada.

Manitoba farmer Isaiah Hofer faced an unprecedented challenge this year when his potato harvest yielded an exceptional surplus. With nearly 100,000 bags of potatoes—each weighing 100 pounds—Hofer was left contemplating the unfortunate fate of letting millions of pounds of nutritious food go to waste.

"We had at least almost 100,000 bags of surplus potatoes," he told CBC Radio. "In potato language, a bag is 100 pounds."

However, a timely intervention by The Farmlink Project turned this potential waste into a lifeline for families in need across North America.

potato donation farmers

The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between farmers with surplus produce and communities facing food insecurity, has been transforming the agricultural landscape since its inception four years ago. By redirecting excess perishable goods from farms, Farmlink has successfully delivered 220 million pounds of fresh produce, equivalent to over 183 million meals, to those in need across the United States and beyond.

Hofer's dilemma caught the attention of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, which highlighted The Farmlink Project's mission in an industry email. This connection proved pivotal.

Hofer coordinated with Farmlink, and in a remarkable logistical feat, 115 trucks were dispatched to transport his surplus potatoes to food banks in Toronto, British Columbia, San Diego, and New Mexico.

potato donation farmlink project
The Farmlink Project

Kate Nelson, chief marketing officer and co-founder of The Farmlink Project, said this was one of the largest donations her organization has ever handled.

Reflecting on the experience, Hofer expressed his satisfaction in being able to give back.

"When you're blessed with so much, it's just good to give back … and I'm just glad we could do that," he shared.

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