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Manitoba farmer donates millions of potatoes to people in need

Isaiah Hofer, a farmer from Manitoba, had an unprecedented surplus of potatoes this year in May, with nearly 100,000 extra bags that each weighed 100 pounds. Normally, a farmer with a surplus can sell it to other farms, but this season, everyone had extra. Isaiah Hofer considered using the surplus potatoes as fertilizer for the next season – however, after learning about The Farmlink Project, he thought of a different solution. This organization turned the surplus into a lifeline for families in need across North America and beyond.

Hofer’s surplus potatoes caught the attention of the Keystone Potato Producers Association, which mentioned The Farmlink Project in an industry email. This connection was crucial as Hofer coordinated with Farmlink, and 115 trucks transported his surplus potatoes to food banks in Ontario, British Columbia, San Diego, and New Mexico. Kate Nelson, chief marketing officer and co-founder of The Farmlink Project, mentioned Hofer’s donations as one of their project’s largest so far.

In Toronto, the surplus potatoes were sent to over 50 local organizations along with countless individuals and households, with all of the potatoes being claimed within nine days.

The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit organization, bridges the gap between farmers with surplus produce and communities facing food insecurity. Since its inception four years ago, Farmlink has redirected excess perishable goods from farms, delivering 220 million pounds of fresh produce—equivalent to over 183 million meals—to those in need across North America and beyond.

Meanwhile, Hofer has expressed his satisfaction, saying, “When you’re blessed with so much, it’s just good to give back … and I’m glad we could do that.”