Backyard Harvest’s four-county service region – Asotin, Whitman, Latah and Nez Perce – contains over 25,000 food-insecure people, including 10,000 people who rely on food access programs. And yet, the food donated to these programs is not always healthy; the obesity rate in the counties is over 28%.
Fortunately, the region also contains farmers and gardeners with a surplus of fresh produce. Backyard Harvest works with these community members, gathering fresh produce and distributing it to those who need it most. Food banks, senior meal sites and schools all receive fresh, nutrient-dense foods from Backyard Harvest, paired with educational materials and recipes to encourage healthy eating habits and nutritional awareness.
To support this mission, Backyard Harvest received a $12,500 Community Strategies grant from Innovia Foundation. The funds will help the organization sustain its current gleaning and distribution programs, expand volunteer opportunities and continue reducing food waste.
“We have already seen firsthand the lasting outcomes of our work,” says Misty Amarena, Executive Director of Backyard Harvest. “People throughout the region we serve have told us in-person how they’ve started eating more fruits and vegetables since having access to our services. Some have even begun growing their own food at community gardens or in their backyard.”