New Website Aims To Save And Share Backyard Food In Treasure Valley

Aug 7, 2017

If you have a tree overflowing with fruit or a garden that needs some culling, a new website in the Treasure Valley could help you out.

Salah Elkatanani built treasurevalleyharvest.com as part of a web development class at Boise State. The idea came from his wife: she loves to make jams, and hates to see food go to waste. So he made a website where people who have a bounty of fruit or vegetables in their yard – food they either can’t or don’t want to eat – can connect with people who want to use the produce. It helps that it’s free.

“The goal of the website and the hope of the website is just to collaborate and communicate and connect with one another," Elkatanani says. "And basically just to minimize the food waste around the Treasure Valley.”

Elkatanani launched the website in July, and has had a good response so far. The site’s slick and straightforward design makes it easy for gardeners and harvesters to connect. But he says so far, there’s been more of a demand than supply:

“We’re probably getting about three times as many people willing to harvest as people who want to put it to good use than we have people posting to the ‘have’ section.”

He estimates that more than half a million pounds of backyard produce goes to waste every year. According to one national food policy study, every month each American wastes 20 pounds of food – including grocery store and restaurant waste. He hopes this project will help to change that.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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