- Plant an extra row for the needy,
and take surplus produce to a local food bank or shelter. Any amount
is welcome, even a single pound, because each pound is the equivalent of
4 servings of vegetables. Most food banks find that vegetables that
are commonly found in the grocery store are the most popular. People
recognize them and know how to use them. Good choices include peas,
beans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, winter and summer squash, cucumbers,
tree fruit, rhubarb, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots,
onions and garlic. Remember, many food banks are only open one or two
days a week, and have set days and hours to receive food; so call and
check donation times before you harvest your produce.
- Plant-a-Row for the Hungry is a community program run
locally in Spokane by The Inland Empire Gardeners. The goal is to get
abundant vegetables from home gardens into the hands of people who can
use them. If you are in Spokane and would like to plant an extra row
for the hungry, send an e-mail to mailto:email@example.com,
and you will receive a grocery list of what to plant. (Ask for a Plant
a Row for the Hungry receipt. The Garden Writers Association that
administers the program is a 501c3 charitable organization, and you can
use your receipt to take $1.50 per pound of donation off your federal
- Volunteer to pick up extra home fruit and vegetables, or help harvest the surplus, and transport the food to food banks and senior meal programs.
- Teach Gardening. Volunteer to help teach other people how to raise their own garden.
- Donate Seeds. Businesses or
individuals may offer free seeds and plant starts to food banks, to
encourage low-income families to grow some of their own food.
- Turn unused land into gardens.
Citizens and businesses with unused land may turn some of their
landscaping into a garden that yields produce for people in need.
(Avista employees gathered tools, starter plants and gardening tips from
fellow employees. Then, they created a raised 50-bed garden that
yields a variety of vegetables and fruits. The produce is donated to
The Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, which provides 3,000 meals
per month to local women and children. Both the garden and the
restaurant are fueled by the efforts of dozens of volunteers working
together to meet a growing need in the Spokane community.)
- Community Gardens. Donate a
vacant lot, help prepare, and raise a community garden. Encourage
refugees and immigrants to plant their traditional foods, which may not
be available in grocery stores.