Washington farmers donate 800,000 pounds of potatoes


To ensure they didn’t go to waste, farmers near Ritzville, Washington donated 800,000 pounds of potatoes for volunteers to distribute to the community, a process that started on Wednesday morning as the volunteers handed out 60,000 pounds at the Grant County Fairgrounds.

They plan to hand out 60,000 pounds every day until they run out.

The farmers in the area have been hit hard by COVID-19 because 90 percent of the potatoes grown in the state are grown for processed potatoes.

“It’s a hard concept for people to grasp when you can lose potatoes in storage they’re not bagged and when people are like why can’t you just donate there’s no way to get them there it costs money to get the trucks loaded get the truck delivered it costs money to get them bagged and right now the growers are out hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Brandy Tucker with Washington State Potato Commission told NBC16.

Tucker also wanted to let the public to know that while farmers are donating the food, it doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling the burden. With how many potatoes there are in storage, she estimates everyone in the state of Washington would need to eat 500 pounds of potatoes by July in order to make way for the new crop in the fall.