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Harvesters distributes 6.5 million pounds of food per month amid COVID-19 pandemic

Harvesters warehouse
Posted at 4:00 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 07:03:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Long lines. Volunteers passing out groceries to families relying on assistance. Churches and other organizations working with Harvesters to fill a need. It's all been seen across the Kansas City metro.

"Right now, we're forecasting to do about six-and-a-half million pounds a month," Steve Davis, Harvesters chief operating officer, said. "We've been consistently been doing that every month during the pandemic."

It's a significant difference from what they've seen before.

"We were doing about a million pounds a week, prior to the [coronavirus] pandemic," Davis said.

So, how quickly does 6.5 million pounds of food go out?

"We're distributing food Monday through Saturday, so six days a week," Davis said. "We're receiving food five days a week, and our warehouse right now has between 6 to 7 million pounds of food in the entire warehouse. And we're distributing about six-and-a-half million a month, so we will turn all of this food on average in the warehouse, once a month."

Perishable items, which are sent to families within days, make up 21 million pounds of that food.

"It comes in, we receive it, we tag it, we inventory it and it's going right out, sometimes within the next day," Davis said.

Harvesters will continue to see the demand as the pandemic goes on, but also meet them, with donations provided year round.

"They're our friends, they're our family, they're our neighbors," Davis said. "We're all here to help each other, and, you know, we want people to know we care about them, and we care about their safety and we care about them having enough."

To learn more about donating food for families in the Kansas City area, visit the Harvesters website.
Since 2012, 41 Action News has hosted the Fill the Fridge to benefit Harvesters Community Food Network. Donations can be made online between Sept. 8 and 12, as well as at various locations throughout the Kansas City metro.