Plant a Row for the Hungry

Are you familiar with the Plant a Row for the Hungry program? That's where you plant an extra row of veggies in your garden to donate to your local food bank.

What you might not know is that the PAR program was initially created nearly 20 years ago by the Garden Writers Association, of which I'm a member. To date, more than 20 million (yes, million!) pounds of food have been donated nationally, to help folks in our communities.

It's easy to participate. Just reserve a row in your garden (or more than one row if you have the room) for planting some veggies. When you harvest them, take them to your local food bank or food pantry. It's as easy as that. When your turn in your harvest, please let them know it's part of the Plant A Row program so we can continue our tally of just how many veggies are being donated.

Examples of vegetables that have a decent shelf life for food banks to store and give away include crops like carrots, potatoes, squash, onions, parsnips, peas, beans and tomatoes. They certainly appreciate donations of salad greens and herbs but they will of course have a shorter shelf life. Food banks will also accept fruits like apples, pears, peaches and apricots.

If you would like to know more about the Plant A Row program, please visit the information page on the Garden Writers Association's web site. There is also a brochure on the program available on the site.

If you'd like to know where your local food bank or pantry is, go to any of these links:

With your help, we can make a difference within our communities!