December 11, 2023

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Farm-clean spuds head to P.E.I. foodstuff lender from Agriculture and AgriFood Canada

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The farm crew at Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s Harrington analysis farm is donating new potatoes to the Higher Area Food items Lender this winter in a new initiative to deliver a surplus harvest to the local community. 

“When the pandemic strike, foods security became a very critical matter throughout the country,” said Chris Kirby, acting associate director for research improvement engineering transfer at the Charlottetown Study and Advancement Centre when he fulfilled with SaltWire Network March 13.

“One of my colleagues (begun) an initiative since a good deal of farms, such as ours, have extra commodities. In the case right here, potatoes in Prince Edward Island, which in common go to disposal, culls or to compost, but they had been nevertheless great to take in for general public consumption.”

Several Agriculture and Agrifood Canada investigate services across the place grow traditional crops to echo current procedures.

Up until now, even though, the meals created, these kinds of as cabbages, carrots, apples – and in P.E.I., potatoes – have been having composted owing to a plan blocking federally-run study farms from competing with nearby farmers. It meant there was no easy way to launch the surplus spuds into the group.

Field operator John Cummiskey, left, hands a bag of fresh potatoes to Chris Kirby, acting associate director for research development technology transfer at the Charlottetown Research and Development Center. - Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Network
Discipline operator John Cummiskey, left, hands a bag of new potatoes to Chris Kirby, acting affiliate director for study growth technologies transfer at the Charlottetown Investigate and Advancement Center. – Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Community

So, Kirby’s counterpart in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador, Leanne Wilson, took the required actions and now the affiliate directors at all the analysis farms throughout the place can now donate extra food items to their area foodstuff banks. 

“Anything that is investigate-grade, we can’t use,” mentioned Kirby. “ So everything that we give would be anything that … you would pick up at the grocery retail outlet in the very same Prince Edward Island bag of potatoes that you would get.”

Serving the community

The farm crew at Harrington is dependable for the crops during the period and have harvested, graded and stored the close to 10,000 pounds of potatoes heading to the foodstuff lender. 

“It’s great to see them utilized and however we can do that, even so, we can permit the general public to entry them, I consider is a achievement as the alternative is just disposing of them by means of other indicates, compost or culling them,” reported Jared Wright, farm operations supervisor at Harrington. “So, if we can assist people today out in the local community, that’s fantastic. And eventually, that’s what we’re here to do.”

The farm crew, at the Agriculture and AgriFood Canada research farm in Harrington, including John Cummiskey, saved over 10,000 pounds of fresh P.E.I. potatoes to give to P.E.I. food banks over the winter, if needed. - Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Network
The farm crew, at the Agriculture and AgriFood Canada exploration farm in Harrington, such as John Cummiskey, saved more than 10,000 kilos of contemporary P.E.I. potatoes to give to P.E.I. meals banking institutions over the winter season, if essential. – Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Community

The will need is there

P.E.I.’s Higher Home Foods Financial institution has viewed a 20 per cent enhance in consumers this calendar year, claimed government director Mike MacDonald when SaltWire visited him on March 13. There were being 950 people accessing support in one particular month this yr.  

“We’ve been extremely fortunate all over the winter season to get a number of donations of potatoes. It adds to what we’re able to give out. We do get a lot of canned merchandise and dry products, but it is really definitely nice when we have, have produce and new products that we can give to our shoppers,” claimed MacDonald. 

P.E.I.’s Upper Room Food Bank has seen a 20 per cent increase in users this year, said executive director Mike MacDonald. - Screengrab
P.E.I.’s Higher Room Food Bank has seen a 20 per cent enhance in consumers this yr, mentioned executive director Mike MacDonald. – Screengrab

He stated the food stuff financial institution also gets donations of refreshing carrots, turnips tomatoes and apples from time to time and his consumers enjoy any fresh foods they obtain.

“The more donations we get, of course, the additional foodstuff that we’re capable to give to people and, and, you know, contemporary nutritious food stuff is essential for everyone,” stated MacDonald. 

A pallet of potatoes was shipped March 13. Some of the bags will be split into smaller sized portions, while some will go to the soup kitchen. 

What’s in a spud?

The P.E.I. Potato Board site has the info: 

  • A medium potato has about 100 energy.
  • Potato served with skins on have four grams of dietary fibre. A skinless spud has two grams.
  • Potatoes are a source of vitamin C and potassium with a medium potato made up of 45 per cent of the everyday suggested consumption of C and 18 for each cent of potassium.
  • Potatoes have major quantities of micro-vitamins and minerals like iron, niacin, folate, thiamin, and zinc.

Alison Jenkins is a reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. She can be reached by e mail at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ReporterAlison.