Washington Potato Farmers to Give Away 360 Tons of Potatoes
Farmers in Eastern Washington are organizing an effort to give away approximately nine tons of potatoes to families in need on Wednesday. The event is being hosted in downtown Ritzville, starting at 9 AM on April 29.Organizers say these potatoes were in storage to go to processors to become French fries and hash browns.
With half a billion tons of potatoes in storage, every person in the state of Washington would need to eat over 200 kilos of potatoes between now and July 4. With the food industry shutdown, there has been a major impact on farmers across the country. Eastern Washington farmers produce a large amount of potatoes for the entire country.
“The ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order has dealt an enormous blow to potato farmers because 90% of all Eastern Washington frozen potato products are used in restaurants and other food service establishments. When those places closed, processing plants curtailed or closed their operations,” said Rep. Mary Dye, who serves on the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Organizers say this giveaway in Ritzville is a trial run and could establish giveaways in the Tri-Cities soon.