Thursday, May 6, 2010

America's Grow A Row

Yesterday I talked about the annual Mail Handlers Food Drive. Well why change a good topic I always say. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 8 households in the United States experiences hunger or the risk of hunger. Many frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for an entire day. Approximately 33 million people, including 13 million children, have substandard diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. The demand for hunger assistance has increased by 70% in recent years, and research shows that hundreds of hungry children and adults are turned away from food banks each year because of lack of resources.

America's Grow a Row matches volunteers to small farms to help pick vegetables that is then donated to food banks all over. But one way you can participate is dedicate a row/bed in your own garden. Last year, sustainable Burien started the community garden at the BIAS, which was for sense of a better word/phrase a Demonstration garden. All the produce grown there was donated to the local food bank. over 50 pounds. And consider we didn't even get the garden started until June! And that was just from 6 4' X 8' beds! This year I plan on one of my Kiddie Pool gardens to be designated for the food bank. So plant a row for the hungry in your area.

The Garden Writers Association Plant A Row or PAR Campaign was started in 1995 when the PAR began in Anchorage, AK, in the garden column of Jeff Lowenfels, former Garden Writers Association president. He asked his readers to Plant A Row of vegetables for Bean’s Cafe, an Anchorage soup kitchen. The program was so successful, he introduced it to GWA as a national program.
It took five years to reach the first million pounds of donated produce. The next million was reached in only 2 years, and in the next 8 years, more than a million pounds of food was donated each year. This is a significant contribution considering that each pound of produce supplements 4 meals.
Since 1995, over 14 million pounds of produce providing over 50 million meals have been donated by American gardeners. All this has been achieved without government subsidy or bureaucratic red tape — just people helping people.
Other sites featuring Plant A Row programs:Ample is a web site that helps match gardeners to food banks and pantries

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are growing more food than you need. you may want to visit - a site that helps diminish hunger by enabling gardeners to share their garden produce/herbs with neighborhood food pantries.

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

More than 1,750 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