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Awash in a sea of starch



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October 09, 2013 - Spuds O' Plenty.

No, it's not the name of an Irishman who really, really loves potatoes.

It's an accurate description of this year's Potato Drop.

Coordinated by the Oxford United Methodist Church men's group, the sixth annual event involved the sorting, lifting and loading of 42,000 pounds of potatoes in the yard of Burdick Street Landscape Supply & Equipment.

Every single spud is destined for the hungry mouths and empty bellies of folks in need.

A total of 4,200 10-pound bags of potatoes were prepared for pickup by grateful representatives from 26 food banks, pantries, churches and other charitable organizations based in Oxford, Leonard, Addison Township, Lake Orion, Brandon Township, Dryden, Lapeer, Pontiac, Clarkston, Davison, Davisburg and Rochester.

Most of the hard work was done by Boy Scouts from Troop 366, Oxford United Methodist Men and Burdick Street owner Steve Stoll and his crew.

Locally, Oxford/Orion FISH received 1,500 pounds of potatoes, while the Salvation Army's Echo Grove Camp in Addison received 1,000 pounds.

Five Oxford and Leonard churches received a combined 1,680 pounds of spuds.

Oxford's annual Potato Drop is part of a larger nationwide effort.

Every year since 1989 through their "Meals for Millions" mission project, United Methodist Men's groups from around the country participate in the Society of St. Andrew's "Potato and Produce Project."

Millions of pounds of potatoes and other produce get rejected annually by commercial markets and potato chip factories due to slight imperfections in size, shape, sugar content or blemishes.

Rather than allow these perfectly edible spuds to end up decaying in landfills, the Potato and Produce Project gets them redirected to America's hungry.

Since the Society of St. Andrew was established in 1983, it's given more than 623 million pounds of potatoes and produce to organizations who feed the needy.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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