Last week, about 46,000 pounds of dehydrated mashed potatoes fell off the back of a truck on their way to Seattle for shipment to Japan.

And now they’re being distributed to food banks all over Washington.

The fortuitous accident happened early last week when a cargo container rolled while being towed through Kittitas County. An insurance adjustor told Willette’s Towing of Cle Elum to simply dispose of the contents, but the workers couldn’t bear to throw away so much food.

So they donated the dehydrated potatoes, still intact in 22-pound bags, to Northwest Harvest, a food distributor that serves more than 350 food banks all over the state, including 51 food banks and meal programs in Central Washington.

Northwest Harvest first had to find a translator to verify the ingredients and then started distribution.

“It’s an excellent thing for the food banks to have them on their shelves because it has good shelf life,” said Sheri Bissell, community engagement coordinator for the Yakima warehouse.