Thursday, April 9, 2009

Plant a Row for the Hungry: gardening for the greater good

Take the pledge and grow a garden for the greater good. As you start your spring planting, ask yourself, "What would it cost to plant one more row? One more container? One more vegetable, fruit, grain?"

According to the Plant a Row for the Hungry website, there are more than 84 million households with a yard or garden in the U.S., and if "every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and and donates their surplus to local food agencies and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger."


PAR was founded in Anchorage, AK, in the garden column of Jeff Lowenfels, former Garden Writers Association president. Lowenfels asked his readers to Plant A Row of vegetables for Bean’s Cafe, an Anchorage soup kitchen. The program was so successful, he introduced it to GWA as a national program.

It took five years to reach the first million pounds of donated produce. The next million was reached in only two years, and in the next eight years, more than a million pounds of food was donated each year. This is a significant contribution considering that each pound of produce supplements four meals.

Since 1995, over 14 million pounds of produce providing over 50 million meals have been donated by American gardeners.

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