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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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80,000 pounds isn't enough

ELCA member lost his job and began a potato project

In Pennsylvania Dutch country sits a potato patch that yielded 80,000 pounds of Kennebecs for 250 food pantries in three counties last season.

Joyce Esser works with members of Trinity
Joyce Esser works with members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown, Pa., to help harvest 80,000 pounds of potatoes for 250 food pantries.

The Potato Project began in 2008 with Walt Zawaski of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kutzown, Pa. He'd lost his computer job and got inspired by a TV report about a Colorado farmer who had a bounty crop of potatoes, invited takers and was overrun. "Well, I didn't think things were that bad [here], but we could do something," Zawaski said.


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