Squash Hunger

Fresh Food For All

Squash Hunger uses convenient drop off locations and a network of volunteers to deliver excess produce from gardeners, farmers, and market shoppers to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens throughout the region. Each year we collect tons of produce that benefits thousands of residents.

Fight Hunger with Fresh Food

Capital Roots’ Squash Hunger program is a food donation initiative that collects and distributes more than 40 tons of fresh produce to our region’s food pantries and shelters each year.

Since 2004 Capital Roots has involved thousands of community members in our effort to increase the presence of fresh food on communal tables. We rely on generous gardeners, farmers and grocery shoppers to donate fresh produce to our collection bins and on volunteers to deliver it to food pantries and shelters, some of which feed more than 100 people three meals a day, every day.

Donate produce at one of our retail partners.

Our Squash Hunger donation bins are located at markets and grocery stores throughout the region, so it’s convenient for you to make a food donation while you shop. We rely on a broad network of volunteers to collect and deliver donations to pantries and shelters in their communities. If you are a volunteer, shelter, pantry or store manager who would like to participate, please contact us at 518-274-8685 or squashhunger@capitalroots.org.

Donation locations: 

Capital Roots

594 River Street, Troy

Honest Weight Food Coop

100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany

Niskayuna Co-op

2227 Nott Street, Schenectady

Delmar Market Place

406 Kenwood Ave, Delmar

Community Supported Agriculture shares

Sign-up for a Community Supported Agriculture Share with one of the farms with whom we partner and you can support Squash Hunger and local food producers at the same time! If you go on vacation or miss your pick up for any other reason, you can be sure that your food will go to a good cause and not to waste. The CSA providers we partner with donate any unclaimed shares to our Squash Hunger program and our volunteers deliver them to pantries and shelters right away.

Learn more about CSA’s by clicking on the names of our partner farms

Alleged Farm

Buhrmaster Farms

Denison Farm

Fox Creek Farm

Lansing Farm

Laughing Earth Farm

Squash Hunger Community Partners Map

What is Gleaning?

Gleaning is an age-old custom, perhaps as old as agriculture itself!  It is the practice of gathering crops, which are edible yet deemed unmarketable by commercial farmers, and donating them to feed the hungry. It’s a cost effective way to serve fresh, nutritious meals to thousands of hungry people while helping to reduce food waste.

How Do I Get Involved?

Every year, Capital Roots arranges several field gleanings for volunteers to help comb our region’s farmland for excess crops. Because produce has a short shelf life, farmers are usually only able to give us short notice. We rise to the occasion by taking a flash-mob approach to volunteerism and encouraging anyone, including kids, to join the tomato, cabbage or apple picking fun!  All the produce we glean is donated directly to local pantries and shelters within 24 hours of being picked. Now that’s fresh!

If you are a volunteer interested in receiving notifications about upcoming gleanings contact volunteer@capitalroots.org or 518-274-8685. If you are a farmer interested in having your fields gleaned by Capital Roots, please contact squashhunger@capitalroots.org or 518-274-8685.

Host Your Own Produce Drive!

More than six months in the making, we are so thrilled to be able to officially offer our supporters and donors a new way to get involved with Capital Roots: Squash Hunger Produce Drives! And with our new Produce Drive Toolkit, embarking on one of these independent drives is easier than ever.

The toolkit offers a step-by-step guide on how to successfully pull of a produce drive, be that a door-to-door collection or a drop-off collection, complete with “Top 5 Tips,” editable marketing materials, and so much more. If your group or a group you know is looking for a way to get involved on your own time, click below,  download the toolkit, and let’s get collecting!

Squash Hunger is generously sponsored by M&T Bank