May 19, 2020 at 11:00am
The potato growers of Washington are continuing their mission to get 1 million pounds of potatoes that were scheduled to be processed to those in need. On the Road to 1 Million Pounds, to date we are a little over halfway there at 520,000 pounds of processing potatoes donated by the growers of Washington State. Our growers have also graciously donated many more loose potatoes directly out of their storage sheds. Ninety percent of all the potatoes grown in Washington State are sold to restaurants and other food service establishments. With so many restaurants closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, our potato farmers have storages full of these potatoes that were scheduled to be turned into french fries, tater tots, hash browns and many other frozen potato products. Our farmers and their families recognize that they are not the only ones suffering financially and they have the potatoes in their storage sheds that can feed so many. Many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. Our farmers would like to donate the potatoes that were originally set to be processed to food banks and those in need, these are potatoes that are not sorted, so each bag will have multiple sizes. These are not like the potatoes you see in the stores that are all the same size in a bag but just as delicious and nutritious.
Despite this major setback, Washington potato growers are making an effort to feed our communities. On the Road to a Million pounds of Potatoes, we are excited to announce we are coming to Burlington, WA! The Washington State Potato Commission has coordinated with the Mayor Steve Sexton of the City of Burlington and Mayor Jill Boudreau of the City of Mount Vernon, as well as local volunteers at The Cascade Mall, the City of Burlington and Mt. Vernon, Tacoma, Helping Hands Food Bank and members of the National Guard to help handout 100,000 pounds of Washington processing potatoes to those in need. Potatoes will be bagged and can be loaded directly into your vehicles. Food banks can also make arrangements with the Potato Commission to pick up a pallet for their local locations by calling 509-765-8845 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All potatoes will be first come first serve.
Washington Potato Growers know people are in need and want to help as much as possible. With the processing potatoes being donated, it still costs about 7 cents per pound to wash, bag and transport a load of potatoes. The Washington State Potato Commission has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of these giveaways. Potatoes are a staple that provides vitamins and nutrients while being extremely versatile. For more information on Washington potatoes, visit www.potatoes.com.