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Rotary Club of Hamburg’s Farms to Family Program Addresses Food Insecurity in WNY  

The Rotary Club of Hamburg has been addressing food insecurity in Western New York since 2018 under the direction of Rotarian Earl Knauss and in 2023, it distributed more than120,000 pounds of produce to food pantries in Buffalo and Erie County, serving about 3,000 families.  

The produce distribution program has been in operation since 2007 when it was founded by Knauss with the assistance of a few volunteers who took donated food to several food pantries. Five years ago, the Rotary Club agreed to join Knauss, making the production one of its official projects and christened it Farms to Families with expenses to be borne by the Rotary Club of Hamburg. The food distribution runs from May through December delivering the vegetables that are in season or available Monday through Saturday each week.  

Spring through fall, pairs of Rotarians and volunteers travel to participating local farms and pick up fruit and vegetables, most of it with slight visual imperfections. The donations are then distributed to the dining rooms and pantries for meals and distribution to those facing economic challenges.  

Updated April 3, 2023