Grow a Row for the Hungry
In addition to shopping at farmers’ markets, joining a CSA and going to U-Pick farms, one of the best ways to get connected to your food is to grow your own. Nothing compares with the experience of starting a backyard garden or putting a few tomato seeds in a container, watching the produce flourish and enjoying the fruits and veggies of your labor.
But any experienced home gardener will tell you that oftentimes the abundance can be over-abundant. Tomatoes can droop on the vine, zucchini will take over your life, and lettuce will crowd up your crisper drawers like no kidding.
So what if this year you made a plan for all the excess? Or better yet you made a plan to make a difference with all that good stuff you’re growing? For years the Foodbank of the Southern Tier has worked with local farms and home gardeners to run a program to make fresh fruits and vegetables available to those in need. The Plant A Row for the Hungry program provides over 20,000 pounds of produce per year across the Southern Tier to hungry families.
Since seeds, seedlings and transplants are showing up in markets and loads of you are enjoying the sunshine by plotting out your annual garden plans, now is the perfect time to think about sharing some of your future returns with the community.
Plant a Row for the Hungry
More and more people in the Southern Tier are turning to emergency food programs for help. In 2011, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other programs received over 1.3 million requests for food.
How can YOU help?
The Food Bank is encouraging local gardeners like yourself to plant a row of crops for the hungry in 2012. Why not team up with a friend or a neighborhood group? Your gardening skills and fresh vegetables can make a difference.
What can gardeners donate?
All vegetables are welcome. Beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers, squash, and tomatoes are especially popular.
Where and when can you drop off vegetables?
There are two options:
1) Bring your donation to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, or
2) Bring your donation to a food pantry or other program in or near your community.
Or, if you have a couple of green thumbs, donate your time and skills to the FoodBank Garden and help them in their Adopt-a-Patch program. Volunteers are teaming up with the FoodBank to grow vegetables at the Food Bank Garden for hungry people in the Southern Tier. Volunteers from church groups, community organizations, and local neighborhoods will grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans and other fresh veggies in the garden’s 20 4′ x 12′ raised beds. You don’t have to be a garden expert!
Darlene Bachman, Volunteer Coordinator
at 607.796.6061 x4043, or email firstname.lastname@example.org