Partnership with Harvest Haul Provides Fresh Produce 

Lori Brantner – Harvest Haul

Nourish Up provides groceries and meals to our neighbors in need.  

One of the ways we are able to do so is through community food drives that allow us to collect, store, and distribute non-perishable groceries to thousands in our community.  

At the same time, we know that it is critical to also provide fresh, healthy, nourishing foods – foods such as fresh produce that add important vitamins and nutrients and expand healthy options. 

One community program with a great mission that makes this possible is Harvest Haul. Harvest Haul does just what its name says. Director Lori Brantner explains the idea began in 2020 as she engaged with farmers at the Uptown and Charlotte Regional Farmers Markets. Concerned about food waste, she began to rescue and collect unsold produce at the end of Saturday markets. This surplus is now taken to the Nourish Up warehouse where it is immediately sorted and readied for distribution by Nourish Up as well as by our partner agency Roof Above.  

“Adding fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables from the Uptown and Charlotte Regional Farmers Markets is a difference-maker. It eliminates unnecessary waste while it also supplements existing options with fresh produce in our pantries, grocery home deliveries, and Food Shares. In the end, it translates to a healthier community,” said Nourish Up CEO Tina Postel. “We are committed more than ever before to nourishing our neighbors with food and compassion.” 

Last year we received 15,000 pounds of locally grown, seasonal produce collected from both farmers’ markets and 7,500 pounds (about the weight of an elephant) of produce as a donation from Harvest Haul.  

In addition to the surplus collection, Lori connected Nourish Up with donors to seed a Farm to Table Fund. The fund is used to: 

  • Purchase fresh vegetables from farmers and farmers markets 
  • Reduce food insecurities and hunger through the distribution of vegetables through grocery programs 
  • Provide education and promote wellness and healthy eating habits 
  • Provide cooking instruction to encourage healthy eating behaviors 
  • Offer other services that have a nutritional focus and are intended to improve the health and well-being of people served through Nourish Up 
  • Cover overhead and necessary supplies needed to administer such programs 

When Nourish Up moves to our new Hunger Hub in Spring 2024, our fresh food storage capacity will be expanded tenfold. Lori Brantner and the Harvest Haul program are a huge part of that foresight and planning.   

Nourish Up is grateful to Lori for bringing the Harvest Haul program to Nourish Up where it is sure to flourish and grow.