Monday, February 25, 2008

Plant a Row for the Hungry

Believe it or not, gardening season is right around the corner. Those mounds currently insulated under piles of snow will soon be bare and ready to plant. When it comes time to reap your summer bounty, how often do you have so much left over that you give away dozens of tomatoes and zucchini to neighbors and coworkers?

This year, consider planting a row for those less fortunate than you instead. Jeff Lowenfels, a gardening writer from Anchorage, Alaska has started Plant a Row for the Hungry several years ago when he asked his readers to contribute their garden extras to a local soup kitchen. It has since grown tremendously, and millions of pounds of veggies have been donated to churches, shelters and food banks across the country.

According to their press info:

“The purpose of PAR is to create and sustain a grassroots program whereby garden writers utilize their media position with local newspapers, magazines and radio/TV programs to encourage their readers/listeners to donate their surplus garden produce to local food banks, soup kitchens and service organizations to help feed America’s hungry.

PAR’s success hinges on its people-helping-people approach. The concept is simple. There are over 70 million gardeners in the U.S. alone, many of which plant vegetables and harvest more than they can consume. If every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and donates their surplus to local food banks and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger. Food agencies will have access to fresh produce, funds earmarked for produce can be redirected to other needed items and the hungry of America will have more and better food than is presently available.”

By planning for extra and donating your organic, home-grown produce to local organizations, you will be making an immediate and concrete positive impact on your community, and you won’t be wasting food.

No comments: