donating produce

Tips for Donating Produce

everyone deserves fresh produce

Tips for Donating Produce
  • The best time to harvest is in the morning before veggies heat up too much.
  • For leafy greens, pull off damaged or yellowed leaves at harvest. Submerge them in cool water to remove heat shortly after harvest to prevent wilting.
  • If harvesting more than 12 hours before you plan to make a delivery, see chilling storage tips below.
  • Not all produce should be washed after harvest, see the guide below.
  • Rule of thumb for produce quality: donate produce that you would eat. Some holes and light damage is okay; no bugs.
  • Wash (if needed) and refrigerate: All greens, bok choi, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, parsnips, beans, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash
  • Wash but don't chill: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (dry thoroughly and store in dark, dry place)
  • Don't wash, do refrigerate: Peas, corn, okra
  • Don't wash or refrigerate: Tomatoes, garlic, onions
  • Contact the pantry in your area to ask the days/hours that they accept donations.
  • If possible, bundle produce into 1 pound bags or rubber band in 1 pound bunches. Loose produce is welcome at most places as well, call first to check.
  • Please deliver produce in a clean bin, most pantries will have a bin to transfer it into upon arrival.
  • Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know what you donated, and to what pantry. It helps us to have an idea of how much produce gets donated from folks in the GardenWorks Food Growers Network.
  • Ask to volunteer at the pantry if you'd like!

Check out our more comprehensive Resource Guide on Harvesting and Donating Produce!