Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sorting through the rotten

Yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity to see the recently renovated Sugartree Ministries, which Rachael Ray spent a week and a half redesigning and stocking with a years worth of food, courtesy of Sara Lee. We're gearing up now to watch the special, which airs at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

We were taken aback when we walked into Sugartree yesterday. The inside is completely unrecognizable from its old setup, and the pictures that we had seen of the renovation didn't really express the amount of change that took place. The kitchen alone looks like it was pulled from the set of a Food Network show, and the distribution center was completely remodeled with an arching island placed in the center of the room (see pictures below after the jump.)

While we were there, we helped Allen sort through two enormous crates of potatoes which had started to go bad. About 1 out of every 4 potatoes had started to rot, so it took some dirty (and smelly) work to sort through the good ones. We were able to salvage more than 300 bags of potatoes, which were distributed this afternoon for Sugartree's Wednesday grocery day. (Note: we drove by this afternoon and it was overflowing with people, potatoes in hand.)

Allen told us that an anonymous farmer in Toledo had donated some 13 pallets of potatoes, each one easily holding thousands of pounds. They were able to distribute or give away 11 of the pallets before the potatoes started to go bad, but they didn't want to waste the remaining two. So, we bagged them up.

After we had finished sorting through the crates, I prodded Allen a little more about the anonymous potato donor. The man called himself "Tater" and refused to give his real name. Allen mentioned that the man said he was in charge of a ministry in Toledo, but that was the extent of the information about the generous farmer. After a little interweb researching, though, I found someone named George 'Tater' Jenson who has been known to donate large quantities of gleaned produce to local food pantries. We'll have to assume there's only one generous and humble potato farmer named 'Tater' in Toledo, and thank Mr. Jensen. (Check out the photos below.)


1 comment:

JessicaCRB said...

I had the chance to hand out some of our potatoes today at Sugartree. There were so many people grateful to have a Thanksgiving essential. Along with the potatoes we also distributed over 320 turkeys. We also watched the Rachael Ray episode together and some of her crew was even there getting interviews with some of the people who had yet to see the transformation. A fantastic 1st Day at Sugartree.