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'Pick for Pantries' returns for blueberry season

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Donation program gets fresh-picked produce to those in need, supporting local farms and food pantries.
 Ottawa Food “Pick for Pantries” program

Ottawa Food “Pick for Pantries” program /Courtesy of Ottawa Food

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Blueberry farm

Blueberry farm /Courtesy of Ottawa Food

Blueberry bucket for u-pick

Blueberry bucket for u-pick /Courtesy of Ottawa Food

The Ottawa Food “Pick for Pantries” program is back for blueberry season, which allows U-Pick patrons at participating Ottawa County produce farms to donate a portion of their pick to local food pantries on select dates during the growing season.

During strawberry season in June, Pick for Pantries partnered with Visser Farms Strawberry Patch, and U-Pick patrons donated more than 110 pounds in just five days. 

This year, two blueberry farms are participating, with the addition of Crossroads Blueberries on Lake Michigan Drive in West Olive, and Bowerman Blueberries in Holland returning for a second year. The organization is also looking for a U-Pick apple farm to participate in the fall. 

“The pilot programs were incredibly successful last summer, and hearing feedback from recipients at local agencies was the best part,” said Lisa Uganski, coordinator of Ottawa Food. “They were thrilled to be receiving this beautiful freshly picked, local fruit, and those who donated loved picking extra to give, knowing that they were helping farmers as well as neighbors.”

Donation dates for blueberries are below. Contact individual farms for specific details on times and picking conditions or updates.


Bowerman Blueberries

Thursday, July 19

Thursday, July 26

Saturday, July 28

Thursday, August 2


Crossroads Blueberries

Thursday, July 19

Thursday, July 26

Thursday, August 2

Thursday, August 9

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