Purdue Student Farm helping provide local food banks with fresh produce

The Purdue Student Farm usually provides food for campus dining halls, but with campus closed, the farm is providing local food banks with fresh produce.

Posted: Apr 22, 2020 11:18 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Local food pantries have provided thousands of meals to families over the last few weeks.

The Purdue Student Farm is helping keep their shelves stocked.

The farm usually sells it's produce to the dining halls on campus, but with campus closed, workers like Chris Adair decided the food should be shared with the community.

"We wanted to find an outlet for it and we figured donating it to folks would be our best option," said Adair.

The donations are going to local food banks like Food Finders Food Bank and ACE Food Pantry.

The farm already has partnerships with the food banks, but Adair said more food is going to the banks with campus closed.

"We're not having to put it into the ground or compost it or just kind of let is sit. We've been doing about 300 bags plus a week for the last four or five weeks," said Adair.

According to Food Finders CEO Katy Bunder, those donations add up to more than 100 pounds each time.

She said the donations go a long way in helping keep the community fed.

"Spinach and kale are pretty light, so when you say 120 pounds, that is a lot of spinach and kale," said Bunder.

ACE Food Pantry, Student Director Marly Beck said the donations are vital to keeping students fed.

"The student farm has been instrumental in helping us improving food security on campus. And mainly that's in way of increased access to fresh produce, vegetables and greens and fruits," said Beck.

Bunder said it's donations like these that are helping so many get through these times.

"It's been very heartwarming to see how Purdue and also just the whole community and all the organizations and churches have all stepped up to help us at this critical time," said Bunder.

Currently, the farm is mainly producing greens such as kale and lettuce.

Adair said the farm plans to expand their options as the growing season continues.

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