It all began with an idea...

FACTS: More potatoes are grown in Washington State than in any other state in the nation. Lack of restaurant orders and processed food demand during the covid-19 crisis as left huge amounts of potatoes and other storage crops unsold and in danger of being destroyed and plowed under. More people in Washington State are in need of food assistance now than ever and food banks and other aid agencies have been overwhelmed by the demand.

On April 29, 2020, George Ahearn posted to a local Facebook group

Wasted Food...!
Today in Warden they were selling 50 pound bags of Onions for $5. Tomorrow in Ritzville they are giving away 20 tons and I hear another 40 tons in Moses Lake I believe for free.

The Plan:
Rent a U-Haul trailer, bring a ton (literally) of spuds and onions to food banks in our region.

Problems:
  • My truck doesn’t have a 2,000 pound payload. Does anybody have a truck I can use (with a hitch) to haul. That’s a big ask I know, but I will pay one weeks worth of your trucks insurance for the loaner.

  • Does anybody know if food banks take onions and potatoes? I’ve been fortunate enough in life to not have any encounters with food banks. I don’t know their rules.


I hope to do this on Friday. I have the Mayor of Othello, WA (my hometown) helping me get info.
Does anybody have any relevant & helpful input or insight/thoughts?

The community responded in a huge way. Contacts were made with farmers in Othello and two days later, on Friday, May 1st, a convoy of vehicles – a small group of volunteers driving pickup trucks, some with trailers, met at 5:30am and headed to Othello, Washington. In that first day, less than 48 hours after George’s original Facebook post, they brought back almost 40,000 pounds of potatoes and onions.

THAT’S 20 TONS!! Produce that would have otherwise gone to waste.

And, so is born . . . EastWest Food Rescue.



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