National Guard helps hand out 200,000 pounds of free potatoes in Tacoma

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TACOMA, Wash. -- Members of the Washington National Guard helped hand out about 200,000 pounds of potatoes Thursday that had been donated by farmers who were unable to sell to their regular restaurant customers due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cars lined up near the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington, to receive the bags of potatoes as part of a mission to get 1 million pounds of potatoes into the hands of people in need.

The giveaway was organized by the Washington State Potato Commission.

The potatoes were meant to be sold to restaurants and other food service establishments, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“With so many restaurants closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, our potato farmers have storages full of these potatoes that were scheduled to be turned into french fries, tater tots, hash browns and many other frozen potato products,” the farmers said in a statement.

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