Most people don’t know, but the current pandemic has caused excessive food waste and a nationwide shortage in food banks. This means that the hungry and poor that need these facilities are at risk of going without during the most challenging months of the year. But one man from Othello, Washington was determined to help make a difference in a really big way.
He had a unique perspective that made him realize…
George Ahearn grew up around the farming community in Othello, Washington. So when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he was particularly aware of how it would affect his local farmers.
He was aware that Covid-19 would interrupt the town’s supply chain. This interruption would then lead to falling crop prices and the destruction of millions of pounds of harvested produce.
George just couldn’t accept this so…
George couldn’t accept this wastefulness. He knew of several food banks and homeless shelters in the area that had no food for those in need. These organizations were suffering the effects of supply chain problems.
So George thought about what he could do to help. After some brainstorming, he came up with a plan that could connect farms and tables. All he had to do was reach out to local farmers and food banks.
But problems hit George early on when he discovered…
But it wasn’t as simple as organizing volunteer shipping. Food bank safety regulations demanded that donated items be washed and bagged. So he couldn’t exactly order a dump truck to deliver the food.
Even if he could, where would a father-of-three go to get multiple dump trucks that could get the job done? He had to come up with a solution to this very unique problem.
If they can’t do it, then…
The answer he found was in starting his own non-profit organization that could call for help to ensure that food reached those in need.
EastWest Food Rescue, his non-profit, put out a call on social media for help Dozens offered to help including Nancy Balin who joined George as one the charity’s co-founders.
Why Nancy is so important
You might know Nancy as the woman who runs Farmer Frog, a non-profit that is responsible for cultivating school gardens across Washington. With her help, EastWest Food Rescue moved quickly to gather and deliver 60 tons of produce across the state in their first week!
George knew that it wasn’t going to be a one-time job. But he’s…
EastWest Food Rescue went on to host two more convoys that delivered about 70 tons of donated produce. Which sounds incredible, until you hear that that number still came up short of George’s goal.
He told CNN:
“That’s 140,000 pounds. Surely we have flooded the market, and we should be proud of ourselves, and that’s it. Three days later and there was not a potato or onion here. I realized that we need to do this again, and we got to do this for months.”
EastWest works to make sure that farmers are…
You might be asking, “What about the farmers?”
It’s all well and good to help the hungry, but farmers should be compensated for their labor and work. Well, that’s another area where EastWest Food Rescue goes above and beyond. They make sure to do their part in compensating farmers as thanks for their donations.
Farmers may not be making the money they’re used to, but it’s better than no payment and wasted food.
EastWest isn’t just serving his community. They also…
But George isn’t interested in just feeding the hungry. When wildfires broke out across the Pacific Northwest, his organization moved to bring non-perishable food to persons in need. This includes an incredible 8 million pounds of produce moved from farms to food banks.
The charity is going strong and doesn’t look like it will stop
George’s actions in starting up EastWest Food Rescue has spread far and wide. Today, more community members are joining his mission in preventing food waste and showing love to a community in need.
The non-profit has received cash donations, dump trucks, a Honda truck, and other resources that make this impossible seeming goal, more and more likely.
George offers advice for anyone with a dream
When asked about his actions and vision, George had this to say:
“I have seen minutes of effort move thousands, and thousands of pounds (of food). Just figure out what you are passionate about and what you could get involved in.
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