Over 11,000 pounds of surplus PEI potatoes are on their way to our area.
The North Bay and Nipissing Rotary clubs, along with the Rotaract Club of North Bay-Nipissing, will be receiving the spuds on Friday and bringing them to 24 different area organizations.
Those groups provide food programs in several area communities including North Bay, Sturgeon Falls, South River, Burk’s Falls and others.
Prince Edward Island has been dealing with a surplus of potatoes after export to the US was cancelled this year.
Routine testing found potato wart in two crops last fall and Rotary says about 10 percent of the 2021 crop of potatoes from PEI will be destroyed.
In response, the Government of Canada is funding a program to have 290 million pounds of surplus, safe potatoes, diverted to processors, packers, dehydrators, food banks and other markets.
Local Rotarian Don Coutts investigated how Rotary could get involved and become part of the solution.
“To date, Rotary’s involvement will see approximately 2,620,000 pounds of potatoes and counting being successfully delivered to those in need in numerous communities from Peterborough, Lindsay, Barrie, and Collingwood in the south, west to Blind River, and as far north as Kapuskasing,” he says.
Several area food banks, including the West Nipissing Food Bank, churches and other organizations are receiving potatoes.