Plant-a-Row for the Hungry Collects Garden Produce
Plant-a-Row for the Hungry (PAR) is a grassroots program of volunteers encouraging gardeners to donate their surplus garden produce to help feed America’s hungry.
In Ames, clean, quality fruits and vegetables are collected at the maintenance shed in the parking lot at Reiman Gardens on Mondays from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. June 25 through October 8, with no collection on September 3, Labor Day. This is the ninth year for the program. Last summer the Ames community donated more than 3,000 pounds of produce.
This year’s recipients of fresh produce are Bethesda Food Pantry, Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) Story County Family Resource Center, Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS), and Food at First (First United Methodist Church community meals).
PAR’s mission is to provide an avenue for individuals, corporations and over 84 million gardening households in the U.S. to help America’s most vulnerable citizens and the food agencies serving them. There are more than 70 million gardeners in the United States. Many gardeners typically harvest more than they can consume. If every gardener donates the surplus, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger without government participation. Those in need get the benefit of fresh vegetables. Food banks and soup kitchens can redirect some of their funds to other needed items.
Volunteers coordinate, collect and distribute the produce. In Ames, the committee overseeing the effort includes representatives from the North Grand Farmers Market, Reiman Gardens, Service Patch community garden, Ames Garden Club, Story County Master Gardeners, ACCESS, Bethesda Food Pantry, MICA, and Food at First.
For more information, visit www.PARStory.org.