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Growing Extra Helps Fight Hunger

July 17, 2010

The Oregon Food Bank has a great idea: They are encouraging gardeners around our state to plant a little extra (a few plants or even a row) to help the hungry. OFB’s “Plant a Row” campaign is a simple but important way to make a difference. “Simply plant a little extra in your garden,” says Rebeca Siplak, OFB Learning Gardens program coordinator. “At harvest time, donate the extra produce to a local food agency.”

Since refrigerated space can be limited, agencies appreciate produce that keeps and transports well, such as tomatoes (slightly under-ripe), green beans, garlic, onions, hot peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, collard greens, beets and squash.

During the 2009 harvest season, gardeners donated more than 81,000 pounds — equivalent to two semi-truck-loads of produce — to food pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies in the Portland metro area.

For more information, such as planting calendars, gardening resources or to maps to help you find a partner agency near you that can use your produce, visit www.oregonfoodbank.org/plantarow.

About Oregon Food Bank: Oregon Food Bank distributes food throughout a statewide network of more than 935 nonprofit, partner agencies serving Oregon and Clark County, Wash., and works to  eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy and public education.

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gary July 20, 2010

Your readers may want to visit http://www.AmpleHarvest.org – 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.

Backed by Google.com and the USDA, more than 2,400 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 http://www.AmpleHarvest.org.

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