Photo courtesy of GetRichSlowly.org
In wandering through the news sites today, I came upon this article on cnn.com about a web site that connects gardeners with extra produce with food pantries that would love to have the abundance of your garden. AmpleHarvest.org allows people with too much bounty in the garden to find a food pantry that can take it off your hands. Almost every home gardener has been in that situation. Too many tomatoes, zucchini, even spinach, beans, and peas can get a little out of control.
Now, maybe everyone reading this blog already knows three or four places in town that would want the food, but maybe others aren't so tied into the community services as you are. This is such a great idea, no matter where in the country you live.
Just out of interest, I typed in a Madison zip code to see what would come up. The one food pantry listed within a 25 mile radius from 53703 is St Vinnie's on Fish Hatchery Rd. I personally know of three or four other locations, and maybe you do too, and when I searched for food pantries in the areas, the Community Action Coalition web site has a very long list.
Help them get listed. Pass on the link to the managers of food pantries, so they can become listed. They will need to create an account; we can't submit them ourselves, but it's free, and I hope it will allow more people to get fresh fruits and veggies when they are in season. Maybe you also have contacts in other communities or states, as well. This web site will connect people and organizations to give or receive local food.
And on a similar note, if you are planting a garden yourself, maybe you'd be willing to throw in a few extra plants specifically to make donations. A couple of friends belong to a church that started a community garden on their grounds. They decided to plant a whole section for the food pantries. They even asked the pantry with which they worked what types of veggies their clients wanted.
So whether you have an overflowing garden for one week, or want to make the commitment to "plant a row for the hungry," please consider sharing your fresh produce with others.