A coalition of groups is hoping a little cold can improve the use of some of Iowa’s warm weather crops. Ann Fields is one of the organizers of what’s being called “Project Freeze.”Fields says freezing Iowa-grown produce is a way to make sure none of the food goes to waste.Many producers have excess products they don’t sell and freezing that produce keeps it viable for use in homeless shelters and food banks. Fields says producers get some of the frozen food back that they can sell. She says a Nevada strawberry grower is a good example of how the program works. Owners donated 150 pounds of strawberries.The strawberries were frozen and 100 pounds were given back to the producers. The rest of the strawberries will go to feed the homeless or low income. Fields says they’re starting the pilot program in the Des Moines and Waterloo/Cedar Falls areas to see how it goes.Fields says they plan to try freezing a variety of crops from beans to apples. If it goes well, they hope to expand the program.
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