Canned Food Conundrum – Ideas?
So I had this idea that I could talk to local gardeners and gardening clubs, as well as the food bank and maybe start a program where they can work together and can stores of food for families in need over the winter months. I know a ton of gardeners who would love to do this but the investment in mason jars to donate is a lot to expect. So I was thinking I could start a program where the jars and labels were donated to the gardeners to be returned full of canned goods and then basically work on a check out system for families where maybe three jars or however many were handed out and replaced with full jars when returned. I was wondering if maybe the food bank has a program in place already or if they would be interested in starting one, thinking I could do the leg-work on it. I know they have a really hard time over the winter especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the heart of the down growing months and they depend a lot on monetary donations. I also know a lot of gardeners who would love for their excess crops not to go to waste and it isn’t a whole lot more to can a few extra jars if you’re already doing it anyway…
So, I called the food bank and they are not able to take home canned foods at all, they can take fresh produce. I can see some liability issues with this but does anyone have any idea what it would take to get around this? I would think it wouldn’t be too much to ask a gardener to register an account and sign something that says they wont try to kill anyone with their kind gesture in exchange for a tax write-off or something. They can get a number and batch the food, if there are any illnesses caused the batch can be recalled. If they get too many strikes against them maybe they can’t donate or what have you. I’m just trying to think through ways of shifting liability and making it less of a money heavy burden in the winter months when there are so many people that would love to be able to help in other ways.
Another idea would be to set up several canning stations and maybe once a week have some canning days at the food bank so that things can be done to in a regulated and controlled environment, I certainly think a gardening club or something like that would be up for donating a day here or there to can huge batches of food. This is just an idea. I don’t feel like it would be tough to get the mason jars donated. I feel like it would be SUPER easy to find the gardeners willing to share their bounty for a good cause and it seems very beneficial to those families in need to have some real foods grown and canned in their community, WAY better than some food that gets pushed through… I just need to figure out how to make it happen… does anyone have experience with this? Does anyone’s food bank allow home canned food? I wouldn’t mind talking to that food bank that does to see what sorts of rules they have for doing that. Ok, that’s all for now, I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day weekend!
And Just cause they are pretty here are some pictures from the weekend of the balloons from the balloon festival over my house!