Food shelf announced their produce distribution days

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer
Watonwan County Food Shelf is partnering with Second Harvest Heartland to do produce distributions again this summer.

Watonwan County Food Shelf has announced their summer produce distribution days. This years distribution will be at Memorial Park from 5 to 7 p.m. July 8 and 22, August 12 and 26, and September 9 and 23.

Second Harvest Heartland is working with the food shelf again this year to bring produce for the distribution. Produce that is distributed is based on what is in season. Second Harvest Heartland partners with local farmers, commercial growers, other leaders and community members throughout the State of Minnesota to help rescue produce that would otherwise go un-harvested.

"We typically get eight pallets of fresh produce," said Katherine Petty, Director of Watonwan County Food Shelf. " One of them is usually potatoes and one of the pallets is fresh onions. The other six vary between whatever fruit or vegetable is in season."

When the distribution dates occur they will be handled the same way as last year. It will be set up in the middle of the road at Memorial Park by the south shelter. Levee Boulevard will be turned into a one way road for the event. People will want to enter at the corner of 1st Avenue and 7th Avenue South. You will then be directed to turn left onto Levee Boulevard. Once on Levee Boulevard, people should drive up to the distribution area and open their trunks. Volunteers will then load produce into the trunk of your vehicle. The food shelf is asking that you please make sure your trunk is empty and that you remain in your vehicle.

Anyone is welcome to come to the food distribution, there are no income restrictions. If a family or person cannot make it to the event, Petty said, “we allow people to pick up for other individuals or families.” When you come to the event, the only question that will be asked is how many people; seniors, adults, and children, live in the house.

Based on past years data the food shelf was able to distribute 10 thousand pounds of produce to 200 families at every distribution. Which equals to about 50 pounds of produce per family. With having so many people come in past years the event has had to close early because they ran out of produce. Petty said her advice for people is to try and get their as early as you can to make sure you have the best chance of receiving produce.