Harvest of Hope reaches its one million pounds milestone

From left, Cathy Ryan and Vesta Kidd Hall receive a food delivery from Washington County Harvest of Hope volunteer driver Gary Dodez. The delivery marked 1 million pounds of food rescued.

Washington County Harvest of Hope (HoH) celebrated a significant achievement in August when it reached the milestone of one million pounds of food rescued and distributed to numerous area agencies serving the hunger needs of the community.

Each week, the HoH refrigerated truck travels throughout the valley picking up food at grocery stores, farm markets, and businesses. In general, the food is nearing its sell by date or is excess food that may have been produced by or delivered to the pick-up locations. That same day, the truck delivers the food to a food pantry, community meal site, or local agency to be distributed to those in need or served as part of a community meal. HoH works with the United Way and other community agencies and donors to achieve the vision of a hunger-free community.

Harvest of Hope carefully tracks the pounds of food donated and distributed. One million pounds was reached with a delivery to the O’Neill Senior Nutrition Program on Aug. 9. Volunteers Steve Porter and Gary Dodez, regulars on the monthly truck schedule, made the delivery of a variety of foods donated through Witten Farm Market and Giant Eagle. Vesta Kidd Hall, Senior Nutrition Coordinator at the O’Neill Center, said that the HoH deliveries help to lower the expense of operating the senior nutrition program. The variety of foods delivered helps as well. “Our seniors always enjoy the meat, breads, and cookies that are part of the Harvest of Hope delivery.”