ROMEO (CBS Detroit) Ripe fields of corn are still dotting metro Detroit’s landscape as summer turns to fall, and Forgotten Harvest wants to make sure none of that bounty goes to waste.

Farmers who have more than they can sell are turning to the charity and letting them harvest fields full of the good stuff, including squash, zucchini, corn, potatoes and greens, and put them into the distribution system that feeds thousands of people.

But there’s a problem: Harvesting and packing takes bodies, sometimes lots of bodies.

“They’ll come to us on a Wednesday and say ‘I can’t harvest the back acre, so you can take it or it’s going to go to waste,’ and it has to be done that week,” said John Owens, director of communications for Forgotten harvest.

To prevent the tragedy of letting all that nutrition die while thousands go hungry, Forgotten Harvest is on a quest for volunteers to both work in the fields on Saturdays and work in the warehouse packaging goods. 

Forgotten Harvest rescues perishable food from grocers, farms, major distributors, major manufacturers and puts it into local pantries that feed the hungry. “Basically, we fight hunger and waste,” Owens said.

The charity rescued 43.9 million pounds of food for 260 emergency food agencies last year alone. “We are their supply line, we consider ourselves a lifeline of support,” Owens said. ‘We do know that 726,000 people in the tri-county area are in poverty and face either hunger or lack of food.”

Click HERE for a list of volunteer opportunities by day and project.


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