News Sharing your garden bounty with neighbors in need

Posted: June 13, 2011
Title Sharing your garden bounty with neighbors in need

For many food bank/food pantry clients (approximately 1 out of every 6 Americans), access to fresh produce is often limited or completely unavailable. is the ideal solution to get these pantries access to garden produce, previously left composted or left to rot in gardens. is a nationwide anti-hunger effort created by Master Gardener (also CNN Hero) Gary Oppenheimer, which enables millions of Americans who grow food in home gardens to find a local food pantry eager for their garden excess.
Nearly 3,200 food pantries across all 50 states are already signed up with more signing up daily. While USDA knows the location of every food bank in the US, represents the most extensive list of food pantries in captivity.  
Please let the gardeners in your state know that they can help more fresh produce get to more people in the community by:
1.    Being generous with their own harvest. What they grow is their food first and foremost and they should enjoy it, preserve it and share it with friends and neighbors. However, any additional garden bounty should be donated to a local food pantry easily found at
2.    Making sure their neighborhood food pantry is registered. If they know of a food pantry in their community that is not yet listed on, they should visit to help the pantry register.
3.    Making sure other gardeners know that they too can donate.  Gardeners can take the flier at to local nurseries and garden shops to be posted where other customers can see it.
4.    Mentioning on their blogs, Facebook pages etc.
Many of you are familiar with Plant A Row (PAR) and some of you have worked with them in the past. It is a wonderful program and has several features that complement it. These include:
1.    Available *anywhere* in the country that a local food pantries register;
2.    Is easily accessed by gardeners any time of the year - even those who did not plant an extra row but are now faced with an excessive harvest;
3.    Is accessible online or even from a garden via a free iPhone app; and
4.    Is promoted with a $10K/month grant for advertising on Google to help reach the maximum number of gardeners.
5.    If your gardeners already know about PAR, utilization of  would be a great "one-two punch" against hunger.
Finally, please let your gardeners know that publishes photos of gardeners (along with their donation) making produce donations to food pantries. All they need to do is send a photo to  of them delivering their harvest. finds that pictures like these help encourage other gardeners to also donate from their garden.

View the Iowa Food and Fitness Calendar