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What are the benefits of joining Harvesters’ network?
Harvesters provides most of the food distributed by many of our agencies. Most agencies do not have the capacity to safely handle, transport and store large quantities of food. As a result they are unable to accept large local food industry donations, including donations of fresh produce, that Harvesters is able to handle.
As a member of Harvesters’ network, agencies also have access to large national donations that Harvesters acquires as a member of Feeding America, the national network of more than 200 food banks. Harvesters also can accept large donations of USDA commodities for distribution to our agencies.
Harvesters serves as an acquisition, storage and distribution site for our network. We bring food into the community and free our agencies to do what they do best—provide direct services to hungry children, families and seniors.
What are the requirements for Harvesters’ agencies?
Once an agency joins Harvesters’ network, it must meet certain requirements to stay in good standing and continue to receive food.
• Attend Agency University
All current and new agency staff and volunteers are required to attend Agency University training at Harvesters’ facility in Topeka, Kan. or Kansas City, Mo. Agency University provides an overview of agency requirements related to site administration and policies, distribution procedures and safe food handling. Check the Agency Events Calendar for upcoming Agency University sessions.
• Complete Monthly Activity Reports
All agencies are required to submit Monthly Activity Reports on the fifth business day of the following month about the food received from Harvesters and how it was distributed, including the number of households or individuals served.
• Maintain accurate and updated contact information
If there are changes in your phone number, e-mail address, mailing address, designated Harvesters shoppers, organization leadership, or program management, you must immediately update Harvesters in writing.
• Participate in Site Monitoring Visits
Harvesters visits each agency at least once every two years to ensure that sanitation and safe food handling standards are being met. Site visits also give Harvesters and agency staff an opportunity to share challenges and successes.
Do Harvesters' agencies pay for food?
Harvesters’ agencies do not pay for food. Harvesters charges its agencies a small handling fee through which agencies share the cost of collecting, storing and distributing the food Harvesters provides. Currently, Harvesters’ agencies pay a maximum handling fee of $0.16 per pound.
In FY2018, Harvesters’ agencies acquired more than 52 million pounds of food and household goods from Harvesters. The value of that food was $79 million for which the agencies’ share was about $2.4 million. No handling fee is charged on dairy or bakery products, fresh produce or on food distributed through a mobile food pantry. As a result, Harvesters’ agencies pay an average of $0.02 a pound.
Sharing the costs of handling the food we distribute helps Harvesters continue to acquire food, provide efficient transportation and operate two large warehouses. Harvesters’ warehouses have a superior rating from AIB International, an organization that works with the food industry to ensure the safety of the food chain.