The Food Bank Farm and Gardens of Jefferson County have embarked on a fund raising campaign for two freeze dryers. The plan is to have one available in Port Townsend and the other in Tri-Area. Operators will have had specific training as well as having to have a Washington State Food Handlers License.
The freeze dryer pilot project will help us reduce wasted food. Hundreds of pounds of fresh produce come into food banks during the three months of peak harvest and not all can be given away before it spoils.
A freeze dryer will allow us to create a supply of food for winter months, when very little fresh produce comes in.
Freeze drying preserves 96% of the original food value of the fresh food, a much higher percentage than canning or dehydrating. Freeze dried food can last up to 25 years, making it a good choice for a community emergency food supply.
The dryers are large “Home” dryers, from HarvestRight, with an annual capacity of 2,500 lbs. Given our general distribution this will be more than adequate for a pilot project. In addition, a “commercial” unit would be cost prohibitive. The complete cost of the project is in the range of $12,000.
Your donation will be 100% dedicated to this specific project. We have applied for grant funding through various organizations and have, as of this date, received close to 10% of our goal. Half of this was through a matching grant.