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02/14/2013 09:57 am ET

California Hidden Harvest Nonprofit Rescues Unwanted Produce And Gives It To The Poor (VIDEO)

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Christy Porter believes in second chances.

She runs Hidden Harvest, a nonprofit that saves unwanted produce and gives it to nearly 60,000 low income individuals in California’s Coachella Valley region every month, NBC News reports.

“Produce is the most expensive thing in a low-income family’s grocery cart,” Porter told the Desert Sun. “It’s the first thing to go back on the shelf.”

Porter’s solution to the high cost of produce and the fact that 40 percent of what American farmers grow gets thrown away, was to start a local anti-hunger initiative, she told NBC News.

Hidden Harvest workers, many of them low income individuals themselves, glean the fields for vegetables after farmers have completed their harvest, according to the organization’s website. What they find gets packaged and delivered to local agencies who distribute them for free.

Since the organization started in 2001, the group has rescued 14 million pounds of produce, according to NBC News.

Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation recently recognized Porter’s work and visited the project in January, according to the news outlet.

“If every farmer in this valley, every one, just gave one row to this Hidden Harvest project then they could feed every needy person that they see,” he told NBC News.

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