From Farm to Food Bank - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

From Farm to Food Bank

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PASCO, Wash. - Finding enough food to feed your household is a challenge for many families in our region but finding nutritious food can be even tougher. However, several agencies in our area are working with local farmers to make sure health food is distributed to families in need.

Second Harvest volunteers spent part of their work sorting apples. Pounds and pounds of the fresh fruit will make it's way from their distribution center in Pasco to the tables of families in need.

"The face of hunger is changing. We're seeing more middle income people, more people in line who are better educated and who may never have had to ask for food before," said Jean Tucker of 2nd Harvest.

For food banks, fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by but here in our agriculturally rich region that's not necessarily the case.

"Last year, 2nd Harvest distributed to Benton and Franklin Counties, 1.6 million pounds of produce," Tucker said.

"We're really spoiled by the generosity of farmers here," said founder and president of Fields of Grace, Alissa Watkins. The group's mission is to provide fresh food for families in need.

"We have farmers that set aside crops, they set aside a row of cherry trees or a portion of a cornfield that we actually go out and harvest," Watkins said.

Since 2006, Fields of Grace has gathered nearly 800,000 pounds of fresh produce which equates to more than two million servings. She said even though it's been a tough year on some local farmers that's not stopped them from donating.

"They're still giving. Even though they have had tough years in the past and this year wasn't a great year, again, the generosity of the farmers is just outstanding," Watkins said.

"We've had cucumbers, peppers and this is wonderful stuff for people who don't have gardens and are hurting for food. This is wonderful," said 2nd Harvest volunteer Carol Volkman.