It’s Strawberry Season!

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Never mind fresh strawberry jam, pie and shortcake—picking strawberries is a treat in itself. If you're packing up the family for some good ol' fashioned strawberry picking this summer, you have a unique opportunity to not just "treat yo self," but other families too.

Ottawa Food (formerly the Ottawa County Food Policy Council) is partnering with popular U-pick strawberry farm, Visser Farms in Zeeland, for their Pick for Pantries program—which allows customers to pick and pay for extra strawberries as a donation to a local food pantry.

"Pick for Pantries is a great way for families to address the issue of local hunger by providing healthy food to those in need, while also supporting local growers. A total win-win-win!" said Lisa Uganski, Council Coordinator, Ottawa Food.

Pick for Pantries at Visser Farms kicked off on Saturday, June 10, and runs on Tuesday's and Saturday's through Saturday, June 24, 2017. The Strawberry Patch is open on Tuesday's from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

"Any time an individual or family can go to a farm and see food being grown—and have the experience of picking the food—it allows for a greater appreciation and connection to food," Uganski said.

Bonus: The price per pound of U-pick fruit is often much less than what you would pay at the market.

And if you can't make it out for strawberry season, blueberries are just around the bend! Pick for Pantries will also take place during this summer's blueberry season at Bowerman Blueberries in Holland.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for West Michigan Woman.

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