05/18/2012 02:40 pm ET Updated May 18, 2012

Orchard Provides D.C.'s Bread For The City Food Pantry With Produce

By Meagan Ramsay
Street Sense

Move over cherry trees, there's a new orchard in town.

On 2.75 acres in Beltsville, Md., just 30 minutes from D.C., the City Orchard is taking root with 1,000 trees and bushes planted to support the Bread for the City’s food pantry.

Serving 5,000 households a month, the organization operates the largest food pantry in the District.

"We haven't found a model in the United States like this project that directly provides food to food pantries," said Ryan Hill, associate director of development at Bread for the City. "At least nothing on this scale of an orchard that will produce thousands upon thousands of pounds of food."

When the trees and bushes mature, City Orchard is expected to yield 40,000 pounds of fruit annually, Hill said.

"There's a couple people who come every week, then others who just want to give it a try," Eisenberg said. "There are two or three people who come once or twice a month, and two gentlemen who come every single week."

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