Annual Shepherdstown Rotary Potato (or other Produce) Distribution Project

36 million Americans live with food insecurity. Yet the United States produces more than enough food to feed every American at risk of hunger - many times over. The USDA reports that more than 96 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the U.S. and 20% of the nation´s crops rot in the fields!

People in the United States don´t go hungry because of a lack of available food. The problem is one of waste and distribution.

The Society of St. Andrew, a faith-based, non-denominational, nonprofit organization effectively tackles this two-pronged problem through its Gleaning Network and Potato Project programs, which salvage fresh produce that will otherwise be wasted and donates it to feed hungry Americans. The Society of St. Andrew, a grassroots organization, is one of the nation´s largest nonprofit suppliers of fresh produce to the hungry.

Members of the Shepherdstown Rotary and Shepherd University Roteract gathered Saturday, April 14, 2012 in the early morning hours as 43,000 pounds of sweet potatoes were dropped from a truck in front of Knutti Hall. The potatoes were then bagged by volunteers and distributed to 17 food banks that reach the four-state region. Local clubs partnered with the Society of St. Andrew, a grassroots, faith-based, hunger relief organization to make the event possible. Through the Potato and Produce Project, the Society of St. Andrew is able to redirect these loads of fresh, nutritious produce to food banks, soup kitchens, Native American reservations, food pantries, low-income housing areas, local churches and other hunger agencies for redistribution.

"The potato drop is a perfect opportunity for the community and campus to join together for a hands-on, meaningful project," said Holly Frye, assistant vice president for student affairs (community engagement). "The food that we bag will end up on the table of someone who may otherwise go without.

Since the Society of St. Andrew began its Potato Project in 1983 and its Gleaning Network in 1988, more than Banana Group(small).jpg526 million pounds of fresh produce has been saved and donated to feed the nation´s hungry. This food has provided 1.6 billion servings of nutritious food to hungry Americans. Some 335,000 volunteers have helped save this food, which would have been dumped in landfills or plowed under if the Society of St. Andrew had not salvaged it instead to feed the hungry. And all of it was saved and distributed at a cost of about two cents a serving!

An independent audit has established the Society of St. Andrew´s overhead for administration and fundraising at just 6.8%, which is among the lowest of all nonprofit organizations. This means that more than 93¢ of every dollar donated to the Society of St. Andrew goes directly to feeding the hungry.

For more information about the Society of St. Andrew and its hunger relief programs: call toll free 800-333-4597; e-mail:; web site: The Society of St. Andrew: Gleaning America´s Fields ~ Feeding America´s Hungry.

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