A Spud-Filled Warehouse

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Below are some photos from the warehouse at various points since the Potato Blitz began. It seems like the abundance of potatoes in the Food Hampers’ warehouse is never-ending!

A skid of potatoes after the Don Cameron Night.

Full cardboard bins of potatoes after the Supermarket Blitz.

A few days later, the cardboard bins have been restocked with more potatoes.

Those mountains of potatoes are, of course, already being used. A few days ago, as a patron was filling out the checklist of food that he wanted in his hamper, he paused to ask me a question. With his finger resting on the picture of potatoes, he said, “I have been craving my homemade potato fries. Do you have potatoes today?”

Ohhhhh yes, we have potatoes. Part of the reason we continue to have so many potatoes is because of the success of the Supermarket Blitz. I blogged already about the volunteers, cashiers and shoppers who made this day so wonderful, and now the results are in. With all that hard work and generosity, we collected 18,000 pounds of spuds and raised another $11,200 in cash. At the Beechwood Zehrs alone, we filled the Faith FM smart car 4 times, collecting over 6,400 pounds. This means that we are well within reach of the 2011 Blitz Campaign goal of the equivalent of 170,000 lbs of potatoes.

That’s a lot of potatoes! When the campaign begins, we clear as much extra room as we can afford to accommodate all those spuds. Even so, space is in high demand at the warehouse. You can tell from the pictures that we have to get creative in order to maximize our potato storage. That is why we are so thankful for Steckle Heritage Farm.

The farm was built in 1833 by a Mennonite couple named John and Esther. Today it is a heritage property in Kitchener, where children and young adults can come to learn the importance of farming.  But that’s not all. For over 10 years, our friends at Steckle have been providing storage for the potatoes  we collect during the Potato Blitz but cannot immediately use.

Through a series of closed doors, you finally enter the storage room where there are almost 20 piles of potatoes like the ones pictured here.

Although it might look a little dark and scary, these are actually the perfect conditions for storing potatoes!

So, when the skids and bins at Food Hampers begin to show signs of depletion, we need only to alert one of our amazing drivers, who can then make a stop by the farm. This is the secret behind the never-ending mountains of potatoes.

For some, like the patron I spoke with recently, potatoes are most enjoyed in the form of homemade French fries. But there are many other ways to enjoy a potato, which I learned this past Friday at the Community Potato Lunch. Stay tuned for pictures and stories from this event!

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