A Rhinelander farmer is hoping to restore normalcy to hard working people on the east coast. John Hein of Sowinski Farms in Rhinelander is driving force behind an 80,000 lbs. potato donation headed to Long Island. Hein says, “Someday, our area may need the same kind of assistance, so it’s nice to be able to help,” Hein says.
Four Wisconsin growers and one shipping company are making the donations. On Monday, one semi is scheduled to pick up the donated pallets of potatoes at three farm locations: Igl Farms in Antigo, Okray Family Farms in Plover, and Coloma Farms in Coloma. The second truck stops directly at RPE in Bancroft, for the second load.
After leaving Wisconsin, the trucks will travel to a warehouse called City Harvest in Long Island City, New York. From there, volunteers from the food rescue organization give out the potatoes to many who are still without power and need help. Since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast on October 29, City Harvest has donated more than 3 million lbs. of food to about 600 soup kitchens, food pantries, and churches, and continues to help people in the hardest-hit areas like Staten Island.
Monetary donations from Ansay and Associates in Neenah; Grace Fellowship in Bryant; the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) in Antigo; Sowinski Trucking, LLC, in Rhinelander; will pay for the shipping the freight. Sowinski Trucking is also providing the trucks and drivers.