Gardening for the Hungry: Easy ways to Share the Bounty
“Plant a Row for the Hungry” is more than a great idea; it’s a movement started by Alaskan garden writer Jeff Lowenfels that encouraged his readers to plant one extra row of vegetables and donate the harvest to the local food shelter. Later embraced by the entire Garden Writers Association, this movement has produced millions of pounds of fresh produce each year for the last few years.
After finding his garden too bountiful, gardener Gary Oppenheimer gave his excess harvest away to friends and neighbors, and soon that route was maxed out as well. He didn’t want to waste great food, so after donating the rest to a local women’s shelter, the idea grew to figure out a way to connect home gardeners to the food banks who are prepared to handle and distribute fresh produce.
So Gary founded AmpleHarvest.org, with a focus on doing just that, so that surplus harvest can go to hunger relief and not the compost bin. Today, from Master Gardening groups to your friends and neighbors, more people are sharing the bounty and there are some great and easy ways for you to do the same.
For more information:
- AmpleHarvest.org – connecting home gardeners with local food pantries that can accept fresh produce, plus resources for gardeners and food banks
- Find a food pantry near you that accepts homegrown produce
- Plant a Row for the Hungry – Garden Writers Association service project, encouraging home gardeners to plant an extra row to donate for local hunger relief
- Fayette master gardeners contribute 88 percent of fresh produce to Atlanta food banks in 2010
- GleanIt.org – Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle food gleaning programs
- Feed the Hungry from Your Home Garden – on GardenHelp.org
- Chef Nathan Lyon recipe for Summer Zucchini Salad with Shallot Caper Vinaigrette
- Joe’s Blog: Tips from Gary Oppenheimer on Starting Your Own Community Garden