Farms donate produce to help feed the less fortunate through the Maryland Food Bank

The phrase "farm to table" is a popular one and the Maryland Food Bank is hoping to make "farm to food bank" just as well known.

Under the scorching hot sun at First Fruits Farm in Freeland, about 140 kids from Gerstell Academy are getting their hands dirty.  Row by row, they're plucking sweet corn from the stalks.  It's grueling work, but worth the sweat.

The students are picking corn to be donated to charities, like the Maryland Food Bank.  First Fruits Farm started 20 years ago as a nonprofit ministry with just a third of an acre.  Today, the farmers, who are all volunteers, work on 185 acres of land.  Every piece of produce they pick goes toward feeding the less fortunate.

"None of us were farmers by background, so we always say that God wants your availability, not necessarily your ability," said Rick Bernstein, who owns the farm.

The Maryland Food Bank has been working with First Fruit Farms for years, but just started the "Farm to Food Bank" program about five years ago.  They partner with dozens of farms throughout the state who donate their produce to fill up the shelves at the food bank.

"What we like about it is produce is the most nutritious food that we're going to put on someone's plate," said John May, senior vice president of operations at the Maryland Food Bank.  "So we're serving a population that's already compromised and the best food and the most nutritious food we can put on their plate the better."

The Maryland Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to help pick and transport the produce to their warehouse.  For more information on how you can help, click here.

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