Volunteers cut down on waste while feeding the hungry

MADISON, Ala. – Volunteers feeding the hungry. Leftover crops are packaged for local food banks. It’s a day of service that looks like a day of harvest. Close to 1000 volunteers at Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison are helping feed the hungry.

“There’s a missionary that did a food drop and picked up green beans and a dump truck got sweet potatoes and squash and we’re bagging them,” said Will Davis, a 12-year-old volunteer. The Society of St. Andrew gets donated produce to food banks multiple times a year — all with the help of some special volunteers.

“All ages. From 2-year-olds to 18-year-olds are making a difference today,” said MaryLynn Botts with the nonprofit organization.┬áThe produce is perfectly edible but isn’t what is considered ‘grocery-store ready’ — so instead of ending up in a landfill, it’s ending up in a food bank.
“We have 15 agencies, they are all picking up and distributing to hundreds,” said Botts.

Pastor Reggie with the Huntsville Community Service Center was touched by the community effort as he picked up the produce. “This is wonderful, absolutely gorgeous, it makes my heart all full to see these kids and i just wonder why aren’t we all doing that?”

The 20, 000 pounds of fresh produce are expected to feed 60, 000 people.
“I really liked it because we helped out people who don’t get much food,” said 7-year old Rosa Levan.
“I know we are making a difference in the percentage of hunger,” said Rosa’s older sister, Lusiana.
Rosa and Lusiana Levan came out with their mother for the service event that takes place on the last day of Asbury’s vacation Bible school.
“This has been like the grand finale,” said their mother, Katy Levan, “so they know when they help out here, getting all the beans together is going to help all the homeless people.”
Any rotten produce is separated and taken to a local farm to be used as animal feed, so nothing goes to waste. In the last year, the society of Saint Andrew has hosted more than a dozen local food drops — getting fresh produce to those who need it.

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