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Our Community Responds

Stopping Hunger a Ton of Potatoes at a Time

By July 7, 2014July 16th, 2018No Comments

The first thing you learn when taking a tour of Skagit Valley Best Produce is nothing goes to waste. Follow along on our tour of one of our top food donors as we learn why they donate to Food Lifeline.

The first thing you learn when taking a tour of Skagit Valley Best Produce is nothing goes to waste. From a pond filtration systems that make sure the water used to clean the potatoes is recycled to the crop rotation plans that ensure that fields stay nutrient rich and perfect for growing beautiful potatoes, it is clear that the farmers of Skagit Valley understand efficiency.

Formed in the late 1990s, when Smith farms and Morrison farms, merged, Skagit Valley Best Produce planted and harvested millions of pounds of potatoes last year. Not only are those potatoes shipped all over the United States and Canada, but Skagit Valley donated 1,113,657 pounds of them to Food Lifeline.

John and Jessica examine the potatoes“When we are filling an order for 12 truckloads of size 1 or size 2 potatoes generally 10% of the potatoes don’t fit the bill,” said John, Operations Manager of Skagit Valley. “Sometimes they are just too small; maybe they aren’t round enough or have a little bruise on them.” 

That’s where Food Lifeline steps in and makes it simple for Skagit Valley to donate their potatoes. Food Lifeline provides the trucks needed to pick up the food, volunteers to pack it, warehouse space needed to store it and the system to distribute the food back out to the communities that need it. In other words, Food Lifeline fills the gap between farmers and people struggling with hunger.

“Food Lifeline is the easy button. With one call we can make sure our bottom line is met while still helping our community.” John, Operations Manager

Bonus Photos from our Farm Visit

To understand the scale at which Skagit Valley Best Produce operates, it helps to see the photo below. It represents just 1 of the 2 buildings that the farmers use to store their potato harvest every year.

Below are two of Skagit Valley Best Produce’s storage buildings that get filled with potatoes every harvest season.

Operations Manager, John, gave us a tour of the Smith and Morrison farms including this line up of John Deere tractors and other awesome farm equipment

Thanks to John and the rest of the Skagit Valley Best Produce employees who showed us around their facilities. We enjoyed the chance to learn more about the incredible work you all do and how it helped you donate over a million pounds of potatoes annually for the past 4 years.