ROAD TO 1 MILLION POUNDS OF POTATOES
Washington State Potato Commission at Three Rivers Convention Center Kennewick, WA
May 8, 2020 at 11:00am
The potato growers of Washington are continuing their mission to get 1 million pounds of the 1 billion pounds of unprocessed potatoes to those in need. 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 lost most of their customers. These closures and restrictions on restaurants have created a huge surplus of 1 billion pounds of unprocessed potatoes that no longer have a home. This has created a huge financial loss to many of our growers as they were counting on someone to buy their crop. This will cause total devastation to our farmers. Some of the smaller growers will not make it out of this crisis. Our farmers and their families also recognize that they are not the only ones suffering financially. So 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. The potatoes that we have a surplus of, were all scheduled to be turned into french fries, tater tots, wedges, etc. The farmers do not want to see these potatoes in storage shed go to waste. Despite this major setback, Washington potato growers are making an effort to feed our communities. On the Road to a Million pounds of Potatoes being donated, we will be handing out another 100 thousand pounds of potatoes on Thursday, May 7 at 10am in Auburn, WA. The Washington State Potato Commission has coordinated with local volunteers at The Outlet Collection in Auburn to donate bags of Washington potatoes to those in need. Potatoes will be bagged and can be loaded into your vehicles.
Washington Potato Growers know people are in need and want to help as much as possible. With the 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.