PSST… Donate Food From Your Garden to These Denver Area Organizations

It’s harvest season and that means if you have your own garden, your home is probably bursting with freshly picked fruits, vegetables and herbs. You may not have the time for pickling, jamming and salsa-fying your goods—so what else can you do with all that produce? Donate it, of course!

There are a ton of local food pantries and nonprofits in the Denver area that are constantly accepting fresh produce donations in addition to the non-perishables we so often bring to food drives. So do something good with your produce this season and give it away to those experiencing food insecurity! To help you figure out where exactly to go, we’ve rounded up a few organizations in Denver that would be happy to accept your donations, no matter how small. 

Denver Food Rescue

Photo courtesy of Denver Food Rescue

Denver Food Rescue’s main goal is to increase health equity in Denver neighborhoods by rescuing high-quality, fresh produce and perishable foods that would otherwise be thrown away by grocery stores, farmers’ markets, produce distributors and local gardens. With the help of volunteers, the food they rescue is delivered (usually on a bike!) to Denver neighborhoods for direct distribution at No Cost Grocery Programs.

How you can donate produce:

Denver Food Rescue works directly with Fresh Food Connect, to help local gardeners like you connect with individuals around Denver, Boulder, Durango and Colorado Springs who are in need of fresh produce. Download the Fresh Food Connect app to schedule pickups and their courier team will pick up your extra produce and distribute it throughout local neighborhoods. For a full list of zip codes that are currently in their donation pickup range, click here. If you aren’t in their pickup range, they recommend you register anyway so they know where to expand next.

Food Bank of the Rockies

The Food Bank of the Rockies, which has locations all over Colorado, works hard to make food security a reality for every Colorado family. They do this by implementing special food programs all across the state like partnering with hunger relief organizations; setting up mobile pantries; providing weekday meals to kids after school and in the summer; sending grocery boxes to low-income people at least 60 years of age; and so much more. For a full list of all their current programs and to see how you can help, click here.

How you can donate produce: 

Food donations to the Food Bank of the Rockies are always appreciated. You can drop off produce, perishable and nonperishable items at one of their many locations around the state. It is worth noting that many locations are understaffed due to COVID-19, so they may not be accepting donations. We recommend calling your local food bank to see what their current policies are before visiting.

Project Angel Heart

Photo courtesy of Project Angel Heart

Project Angel Heart was founded in 1991 to help Coloradans struggling with illnesses receive the nutrition they need to get stronger, heal and remain at home. Many are too sick to get to the grocery store or unable to cook for themselves. Others find they have to choose whether to buy food or medication to make ends meet. That’s why Project Angel Heart prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses.

How you can donate produce:

To help Project Angel Heart supplement the produce they grow and increase the amount of local and organic food their clients receive, you can donate your extra fruits and vegetables! They accept carrots, tomatoes, kale, collard greens, swiss chard and squash that are grown without pesticides and manure. They usually accept donations at their Denver Office and Kitchen, Mondays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Due to the pandemic, they are not currently accepting outside donations, but this is subject to change. Click here to stay updated on their current policies. 

Ample Harvest

Photo courtesy of Ample Harvest

Ample Harvest is a nationwide nonprofit that helps connect gardeners with local food pantries so that they can donate their extra harvest to people in need. Their goal is to eliminate the waste of food with the outcome being a reduction in hunger and malnutrition along with an improved environment. They currently have over 8,700 registered food pantries spread across all 50 states that help nourish one out of six Americans. 

How you can donate produce:

Head to Ample Harvest’s food pantry map and plug in your zip code to find a food pantry near you. There are several located throughout the entire Denver metro area, from Thornton to Englewood. While Ample Harvest tries to keep the information on their website as accurate as possible, they also recommend calling your local food pantry ahead of time to see if they have any specific donation policies and hours. 

Community Food Share

Photo courtesy of Community Food Share

Community Food Share in Louisville is a food bank fighting hunger in Boulder and Broomfield counties by providing access to fresh, nutritious food through local partners and its onsite mobile pantry. They have several different programs to help out those in need, from mobile pantries and food boxes for the elderly as well as emergency food services available for any family or individual in need of immediate food assistance. 

How you can donate produce: 

Community Food Share is a big supporter of local produce donations, encouraging local gardeners to donate their freshly-picked fruits, vegetables and herbs through their longtime collaboration with Earth’s Table. This summer, in an effort to limit face-to-face interactions, they are collecting donations on their new outdoor farm stand. You can drop off your donations any time, but it’s best to do so during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Click here for more information. 

Harvest of Hope Pantry

Photo courtesy of Harvest of Hope Pantry

Harvest Hope Pantry is a Boulder not-for-profit Catholic organization that helps give a sense of hope to Boulder families and individuals experiencing the stress of food insecurity. They do this by providing healthy supplemental food to local families and individuals from all faiths in need of food assistance within a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental environment. 

How you can donate produce: 

Your food donations make a difference! Harvest of Hope Pantry accepts fresh, perishable donations along with nonperishable goods at their Boulder pantry, Monday-Friday 9 a.m-2 p.m. They accept pretty much anything as long as it is not packaged food that has already been opened, bulk items that need repackaging or anything made outside of a commercial kitchen. Click here for more information and to see their current shopping list.

Who did we miss? 

Is there a local organization that accepts produce donations that we missed? Let us know about them in the comments!

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