Connecticut Food Bank recently dedicated its new “Giving Garden” to encourage home and community gardeners and farmers to plant an extra row of produce as part of its Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign. East Haven Mayor April Capone planted the garden’s last tomato plant at a dedication ceremony attended by the local businesses who donated vegetable plants, as well as volunteers who are donating their time this summer to tend the garden. You can watch the event on East Haven Patch.
The Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign’s goal is to increase the number of gardeners, farmers, schools, places of worship, youth and community groups and businesses that make a difference by adding a row of seedbeds or donating their surplus produce to Connecticut Food Bank and other local hunger-relief organizations. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and donor receipts are provided.
“Every extra tomato, squash or watermelon goes a long way to help feed those who don’t have enough to eat,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s President & CEO. “In Connecticut, one in seven families is affected by hunger and we all know the importance of providing nutritious fruits and vegetables to people in need.”
Home Depot of East Haven and Van Wilgen’s Garden Center in North Branford donated the vegetable plants for the garden. Surplus plants were given to some of Connecticut Food Bank’s member food pantries and soup kitchens that have vegetable gardens on site.
Since Connecticut Food Bank launched the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign in 2006, the program has collected thousands of pounds of fresh produce for people struggling with hunger in Connecticut.
Clean, fresh produce can be dropped off at a local food pantry or Connecticut Food Bank’s warehouses in East Haven, Fairfield and Waterbury. Any fruit or vegetable that gardeners prefer to grow can be accepted. Suggested plantings include spinach, kale, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, peas, green beans, tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplants, summer and winter squash, zucchini, beets and garlic.
To find a local food pantry that accepts fresh produce donations in the area, visit www.ampleharvest.org. For details about Plant a Row or to request a program speaker for your organization, call Carolyn Russell, Connecticut Food Bank’s Procurement Director at 203-469-5000.