BEYOND THE CHECK: 1,000 Produce Bags As Good as Gold to Farmers Against Hunger

Sophia Buckalew (pictured), Farmers Against Hunger (FAH) Logistics Director for the NJ Agricultural Society, was on hand on June 14th at the FAH headquarters site in Delran to unload an SUV packed to the hilt with cloth/canvas produce bags. FAH was one of our 2021 $50,000 General Operating Grant recipients.

Impact100 South Jersey Nonprofit Outreach Committee member Karen Swartley coordinated a member-wide drive to collect the needed bags for FAH. Our Impact100 SJ members came through — and in a big way! Some 1,000 bags were donated that will be used to tote more than one half million pounds of fresh produce from FAH partner farms to families that are food insecure this growing season. That’s a lot of bags — and a lot of produce. 

No longer having a ready supply of plastic grocery bags since New Jersey’s plastic bag ban went into effect, FAH has had to rely increasingly on purchasing clean, suitable bags for each year’s gleanings. Given that FAH collects and delivers a very high volume of produce, the cost to purchase replacement bags began taking a big bite out of their budget. So, the donation of 1,000 bags was more than just bags. It was a donation as good as gold! The collected bags allowed FAH to reallocate funds previously budgeted for gleaning supplies to support other critical needs such as helping to keep the iconic FAH vehicle fleet safe and on the road to deliver fresh, nutritious foods to communities in need across the state!

Each year, FAH gleans/collects a total of some 1.5 million pounds of food from partner farms and food retailers and wholesalers. Every donation to support FAH, every offer of assistance, makes a difference to the 9,000 food insecure individuals supported each week by their efforts.