Organic Valley is truly an inspiration to our community. You'll find them featured on our community support page, too. In addition to donations of produce and dairy, they support CHS through grants and volunteer time.
As a food retailer, Organic Valley actively seeks out ways to prevent food waste by coordinating with food pantries and food banks to redistribute.
Since our beginning, CHS has received tens of thousands of pounds of produce each year from OV and their farmers. After Organic Valley farmers have sorted their produce for OV's retail markets, they're left with seconds - produce that isn't the right color or shape or has unsellable blemishes. CHS purchases this produce in bulk, helping the farmers' bottom line, to redistribute to food banks and food pantries, helping meet their needs as well!
In 2018, Organic Valley began setting aside partial cases from their quality control process for CHS. These cases contain vital nutritous items like milk, cheese, butter and eggs that CHS is able to direct to area pantries helping them meet their patron's diverse needs. What's more, these items are nowhere near their expiration date making them the freshest dairy products our pantries receive!
Harmony Valley Farm is an organic farm located outside of Viroqua, WI. Like many other organic farms in the area, Harmony Valley sells their produce through a combination of CSA's, food retailers and food processors, and at farmer's markets. During market season, CHS makes weekly trips to Harmony Valley to pick up market returns - items that Harmony Valley harvested in excess of what they were able to sell at the market. During peak season, this donation consists of everything from salad greens and cooking greens to herbs, garlic, onions, melons, fruits, and much more!
In addition to market returns, Harmony Valley donates quality seconds/over harvests of important staples like summer squash, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, winter squash, parsnip, and more. Harmony Vally donates over $100,000 worth of fresh, delicious produce every year to CHS! This produce comprises, by far, the greatest variety of food CHS offers partner organizations throughout the season.
Driftless Organics is an organic farm outside of Soldier's Grove, WI. They got their start farming organic potatoes, and now produce a large variety of veggies and value added farm products. Driftless Organics sells a huge amount of potatoes and carrots and donates all the seconds CHS can handle July through April, ensuring that our patrons can rely on these staples throughout the season. Driftless donates other excess produce as available and, because of their delivery range, is able to deliver the donations right to our facility saving CHS the time and mileage of picking up.
Depending on need, Driftless Organics donates roughly 10,000 pounds of produce each year!
CHS has also sent volunteers to their farm where Driftless makes space for them to harvest food that would otherwise be left in the field. This experience is enriching for our volunteers and is a way for CHS to offer produce that wouldn't otherwise be available.