Plant A Row for the Hungry donates more than 18.6 tons of produce
From press release
More than 37,000 pounds of nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables helped to sustain individuals and families that were going hungry this past summer.
Last fall, the Plant a Row for the Hungry Committee established a goal of 13 tons for this year’s gardening season, with plans to exceed the 2008 collection by 2 tons. As the last of the fall squash, pumpkins and apples arrived, that goal has been met and exceeded. More than 18.6 tons of nutritious food have been donated and distributed to those in need.
Plant a Row for the Hungry is a nation-wide program started by the Garden Writers Association of America. It was initiated locally by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Program in 2001, and since then has annually supported the donation of fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing by impressive percentages each year.
Now, a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois Master Gardeners, U of I Extension-Winnebago County, the Rock River Valley Pantry, Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and most importantly, local gardeners, resulted in record-breaking donations of fresh fruit and vegetables! More than 30 different types of vegetables and several types of fruit were donated.
This year’s collection sites were: Edgebrook Farmers Market, University of Illinois Extension-Winnebago County, OSF St. Anthony Hospital, Rock River Valley Pantry, Midas on South Alpine and Winnebago County Soil and Water.
Individuals at each site worked with the U of I Extension Master Gardener Committee and other committee members to record each donation in an effort to keep accurate records about the campaign.
The committee will be meeting over the winter to review the 2009 season, discuss the program, and select donation sites for the 2010 growing season.
If any business or organization is interested in being a site, more information is available by calling the U of I Extension at (815) 986-4357. Groups that might be interested in establishing a garden specifically to provide produce for Plant a Row can also call the Extension office for information and technical assistance.
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