OAK PARK, Mich. — Forgotten Harvest, Metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization, will be able to provide millions of meals to people who would otherwise go hungry in Southeastern Michigan thanks to major equipment donations announced today by Ram Truck brand, Case IH and New Holland Agriculture. The donated equipment, worth nearly $400,000, will enable the expansion of large-scale farming operations through Forgotten Harvest Farms, where healthy fruits and vegetables are harvested by volunteers and delivered fresh and free of charge to agencies fighting hunger in the region.
“In three years of harvesting fresh food from farms ourselves, we’ve gone from 100,000 pounds of food to 440,000 pounds to an estimated 850,000 pounds this year,” said Forgotten Harvest President & CEO Susan Goodell. “One of our greatest barriers to further growth was the lack of equipment to support our staff and volunteers – and today, Ram Truck, Case IH and New Holland have delivered what we need to keep growing our farming operations to feed hungry families in need.”
Forgotten Harvest currently has 75 acres of land under cultivation thanks to a lease donation by Forgotten Harvest board member and long-time supporter Nora Moroun, in memory of her grandmother Nora Langan. Today’s equipment donation will allow Forgotten Harvest to expand its operations at Ore Creek Farm.
Ram Truck is donating a 2013 Ram 3500 ST Crew Cab Heavy Duty 4×4 to transport people, equipment and materials around the farm operations.
“The Ram Truck brand has a great deal of respect for the work that Forgotten Harvest does to combat hunger,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales and President and Chief Executive Officer – Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We welcome the opportunity to donate a new Ram 3500 truck to help their efforts to provide nourishment to those in our community who might otherwise go hungry.”
Case IH is donating Farmall® 125A tractors to handle a variety of jobs around Forgotten Harvest Farms, including hauling, mowing and loading. Also, the new Magnum tractor from Case IH will provide the best mix of horsepower and fuel efficiency to get more production out of the land of Forgotten Harvest Farms.
“We see this as a great opportunity to use our resources to help the noble efforts of Forgotten Harvest Farms,” says Jim Walker, Vice President of Case IH, NAFTA. “With this donation we hope to help Forgotten Harvest service all of those in need in the large region they service. That we do this in partnership with our sister companies in this endeavor, I think, shows the collective spirit of our brands and the people behind them.”
A donated heavy-duty New Holland S10500 field sprayer will provide dependable performance, and accurate spraying, even across bumpy, varied field conditions. It has a tank capacity of 1,000 gallons. In addition, New Holland’s Rustler™ R125 4×4 utility vehicle offers the perfect balance of capability and performance, with all-wheel-drive traction control system, independent front and rear suspension, and spacious seating.
“It’s an honor for New Holland to play a part in the tremendous work being done by Forgotten Harvest,” said Abe Hughes, Vice President of New Holland in North America. “We take great satisfaction in knowing the New Holland equipment at work on the Forgotten Harvest farm will be used to help provide the food needed to feed the hungry in the Detroit area.”
In addition to farming Ore Creek Farm, Forgotten Harvest Farms also works with regional farmers and government agencies that have farm operations to have its volunteers harvest fresh and healthy locally-sourced produce to deliver to agencies serving the hungry in Metro Detroit. In 2015, Forgotten Harvest will also begin harvesting 125,000 pounds of apples per year from the Forgotten Harvest Orchard of Hope on land donated by Blake’s Farms in Macomb County.
Volunteers interested in assisting in Forgotten Harvest Farms operations can visit www.forgottenharvest.org/volunteer to learn more or sign up.