Posted on 13 September 2009 by

Donate Your Extra Produce to a Food Bank

foodbankBy Vanessa Richins

On Facebook, a friend posted that she had been given zucchini by 3 different people recently, including someone she didn’t even know.

Though zucchini are infamous for being overproductive anyways, many people find that as their garden is in full swing, they may be faced with an onslaught of fruits,vegetables and herbs that seem to spoil before they can eat them fast enough.

If you find yourself faced with this problem, why not donate some of it to your local food bank?

This is a great way to help those in your community. They can have some fresh foods that they may not have access to otherwise.

One program that advocates donating produce to food banks is called “Plant a Row for the Hungry”. It was started in 1995 by the former president of the Garden Writers Association, Jeff Lowenfels. He advocated donating to a local Alaskan soup kitchen in his garden column. When his readers eagerly responded, he created it as a national program for the Garden Writers Association.

The focus of the program is to have garden writers suggest that their readers plant one extra row in their vegetable garden with the aim of donating the bounty to their local food banks and soup kitchens.

How well has it worked? As their website proudly heralds, “Since 1995, over 14 million pounds of produce providing over 50 million meals have been donated by American gardeners.” Wow!

Find your local food bank or soup kitchen by looking in the phone book or doing a search online for “food bank (Insert your city)”. Consider joining the “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program next year if you don’t already participate.

What do you do with your extra produce?

Compiled from GWA

One Response to “Donate Your Extra Produce to a Food Bank”

  1. gary Says:

    Your readers may want to visit – a site that helps diminish hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their crops with neighborhood food pantries.

    The site is free both for the food pantries and the gardeners using it.

    Over 900 food pantries nationwide are already on it and more are signing up daily.

    It includes preferred delivery times, driving instructions to the pantry as well as (in many cases) information about store bought items also needed by the pantry (for after the growing season).

    If your community has a food pantry, make sure they register on

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