An Alberta farmer just donated almost 10,000 kilograms (more than 22,000 pounds) of root vegetables to local food banks — and he plans to do it again this week.
With the help of volunteers, Gone Green Farms owner Steve Breum harvested potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and beets, and delivered half of the haul to the Edmonton Food Bank on Oct. 11 and the other half to the Calgary Food Bank later that week, CBC reported.
These first contributions are part of Breum’s Alberta Farm To Food Bank initiative, which he started earlier this year.
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“I just wanted to see if we could grow it a little bit and feed people with healthy food,” Breum told CBC.
Donations to the farmer’s GoFundMe page help provide food to those in need, and support some farm operations.
“Alberta Is going through a rough economic time and people are hungry, let's feed them!” the page reads.
The most recent data available shows that 8.3% of Canadian households were food insecure in 2011-2012, which increased from 7.7% in 2007-2008, according to Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy.
PROOF, a research team dedicated to investigating food insecurity in Canada, reported that 1 in 8 households in Canada was food insecure in 2012, which accounts for more than 4 million Canadians across the country.
Food insecurity is an important global issue and initiatives like Breum’s could directly benefit those in need in Canada.
“A donation like this, a larger scale one from a farmer, goes a long way,” special events and communications coordinator with the Edmonton Food Bank Samantha Potkins told CBC. “Produce helps to supplement the non-perishable donations that go into our hampers.”
The Edmonton Food Bank hamper program reaches more than 20,000 people each month.
This weekend, Breum will harvest the remainder of his crops and deliver the produce to the two food banks again — and he’d like to do more in the future.
“I'd like to grow to where we can't handle it anymore, where we don't physically have the labour and the farmland to do it,” he said. “And then I'd like other farms to jump into it, too.”