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Salem Non-Profit Almost Quadruples Donations

<p>Janzen Squash Field, August 2014</p>

Janzen Squash Field, August 2014

A Salem non-profit has been noticed for quadrupling the amount of fresh produce it donated to food banks this year.

Last year, gathered close to 80,000 pounds of food -- using volunteers to glean fields and collect fruit from back garden trees.

But this year, it collected almost 300,000 pounds.

Charity vice-president, Elise Bauman, says they got more volunteers involved and visited more farms. But she says the key was to ask farmers for help: "Generally we're out there with just our hands and buckets and baskets, we have an ATV with a trailer on it," she said.

"But when we have a farmer out there on his tractor with a wagon that can take eight totes, instead of an ATV with one tote -- and a tote like this bin that's like a watermelon bin, it just goes so much more faster and it's so much more efficient."

The USDA found that 15 percent of Oregon households were "food insecure" over this year.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting