Kalamazoo non-profit set to combat global hunger with imperfect produce gets lawmaker’s attention

Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga takes a tour of Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners, June 28, 2023 (Image: Jessica Harthorn)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Kalamazoo non-profit focused on combating global hunger is getting the attention of lawmakers.

Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners is expected to become fully operational by the summer of 2024.

Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners is currently renovating a warehouse for its operations off King Highway, June 28, 2023 (Image: Jessica Harthorn)

It will partner with local farmers who will donate cosmetically imperfect produce that would otherwise go to a landfill, and share it with malnourished people worldwide.

Through a grant, Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners recently purchased a massive food dehydrator.

Volunteers will soon wash, trim and chop the produce and process it by using the machine.

The dehydrated food will then be packaged into small bags and be distributed to churches, missions and orphanages in 26 countries by West Michigan relief agency partners.

Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners will partner with local farmers who will donate cosmetically imperfect produce that would otherwise go to a landfill. The produce will be dehydrated and sent to hungry people across the globe, June 28, 2023 (Image: Jessica Harthorn)

Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga represents Michigan’s 4th Congressional District. He toured the Kalamazoo Valley Gleaners warehouse today off King Highway in Kalamazoo.

He said it could become a hub for helping to eliminate hunger in Michigan.

“The really exciting thing is, this can be replicated around the state, around the country, and it should be frankly. Canada has been leading the way on this. They have eleven of these types of organizations around Canada with a population of 33 million people. We have 10 million people here in Michigan. Michigan is one of the top agriculture producers in the nation, and if we could turn this into a kind of a hub, I know there are growers out there watching this tonight, saying I’d be a part of that,” Congressman Huizenga said.

Congressman Huizenga said he will soon reintroduce his bipartisan legislation called “The Small Farm to School Act.”

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