If you’d like to plant a extra row and share your produce but you're not sure how to get it to those in need, The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and Channels Food Rescue can help.
Jorja Barton, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's Director of Agency Relations, said gardeners can search out food pantries, soup kitchens and missions local to them to donate homegrown produce. The Food Bank will be listing information about their “Gardeners Giving Back” on their website shortly. She said Channels Food Rescue also has a “Plant-A-Row” program that provides set pick up points for vegetables so they can be distributed.
Barton said the Food Bank has seen a 33% increase in demand over last year. Certain agencies have experienced as much as a 110% increase, due to job loss, over last year. At the same time, many of the Food Bank’s suppliers are now selling their foods in secondary markets to stores like Big Lot’s rather than donating.
The need for the produce from the extra row is real. I’m going to reach out to Bridges, a New Cumberland food pantry, and see if I can help organize a West Shore effort to both get fresh produce from our gardens out to those in need. And I’m going to be lobbying folks in my community to plant an extra row.
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