Have extra garden goods? A local food bank will take them!

Mika Peterson, the Community Events Manager at Winnipeg Harvest says that they are grateful for fresh produce donations. While they are always in need of nonperishable goods, the fall brings a unique opportunity to share harvested goods.

"We want to make sure that we are giving a well-rounded kit. Obviously, canned items are wonderful and just as good as well, but it is nice to have some fresh stuff to cook with," Peterson says.

On average, Winnipeg Harvest helps 70.000 people a month, but Peterson says the current economic situation is bringing its own challenges to Winnipeg families.

"We have already seen a 30 per cent increase in new calls each day," Peterson says. "It is unfortunate. We do not want to see anyone go through struggle, however, we are really lucky that our crew and our community have come together to make sure that everybody who needs, does receive."

Peterson says a number of factors are increasing the demand, including job loss, hour reduction, and loss of childcare.

With the increase in need, Winnipeg Harvest says they are appreciative of donations and those with a plentiful harvest are welcome to donate extra food.

Peterson says they commonly receive root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips as donations, which preserves well. 

"We want to make sure they have the longest shelf life. Root vegetables are pretty hearty and they go a long way."

Peterson says Winnipeg Harvest puts boxes together a day in advance, but notes they may take a day or two to transport. 

While root vegetables are popular, Peterson says they will take, and are thankful for, all donations. She notes that for families, fresh produce is nice to freshen up meals. 

Winnipeg Harvest says if people are thinking of dedicating part of their gardens to Winnipeg Harvest in the spring, they suggest planting roots vegetables.