Twenty-three Eastern Shore farmers donated 423,000 pounds of produce to the Maryland Food Bank’s newly launched Farm to Food Bank program between mid-June and mid-September. That amount equates to 325,385 meals — or 81,346 meals for a family of four, according to the Maryland Food Bank.
“Our farmers continue to show that agriculture is not just an industry, but a way of life – one in which there is a strong concern for their neighbors, their land and the future of our state and its citizens,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “With a strong agricultural industry, we not only keep land open and productive and people employed, we provide a local food supply for our most vulnerable citizens.”
In a process called gleaning, farmers open their fields after harvest and allow others to take what is left for charitable purposes. Produce gleaned from the Eastern Shore so far includes watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, squash, sweet corn, peaches, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, and green peppers. Inmates from the Maryland Division of Correction (DOC) have contributed to the effort for several weeks this summer by doing the gleaning for six Eastern Shore farms through an initiative called Public Safety Works.