Potatoes delivered to area food banks

Geoffrey Orth loads potatoes delivered by the NRV Glean Team into several vehicles at Trinity Ecumenical Parish on Nov. 23. The potatoes were then transported to area food banks.

Volunteers worked at Trinity Ecumenical Parish on Nov. 23 to collect and disperse more than 3,000 pounds of potatoes to local food banks just in time for Thanksgiving.

Geoffrey Orth, one of the program’s organizers, worked with the New River Valley Glean Team to bring the potatoes to the area. The group finds extra or unwanted produce from farmers around the country and provides them with resources to bring them to communities in need.

Through the work of Trinity Ecumenical Parish, the potatoes will go to several area nonprofits, including Lake Christian Ministries, Agape Center and Heavenly Manna food bank in Rocky Mount. “All the food banks were happy to get them this time of year,” Orth said.

Trinity Ecumenical Parish works with the New River Valley Glean Team throughout the near to provide not just potatoes, but also other produce to area food pantries. Orth said they collect a variety of vegetables and even peaches during the year.

“We take whatever we can get,” Orth said.

With the large potato donation, Orth said the food banks won’t have to ration as much this Thanksgiving with potatoes on hand. They will be able to give out as many as a family needs.

More than 20 volunteers were prepared to bag the 3,000 pounds of loose potatoes on Nov. 23, but mechanical issues delayed the truck’s arrival by more than two hours. Once the potatoes did arrive, volunteers at the NRV Glean Team headquarters in Christiansburg had already packed the potatoes into 10 pound bags.

The bags were separated into several vehicles and quickly transported to food banks to be part of this year’s Thanksgiving dinners that will be handed out this week.