Plant a Row for the Hungry

Plant a Row for the Hungry

Part of Ep. 902 Sex and Roses

Plant an extra row specifically to donate to your local food pantry.  Dane County Coordinator Janis Vandermeer talks about "Plant a Row for the Hungry", a special program sponsored nationally by Garden Writers Association of America and Home and Garden Television.

Premiere date: Jul 25, 2001

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
By midsummer in my neighborhood, people start locking their doors when they see me coming with arm loads of zucchini. But there's a group of people that's always appreciative of fresh produce, they're the hungry. And there's a very special program called "Plant a Row for the Hungry" that gardeners can get involved with. We're with the Dane County coordinator Janis Vandermeer. Janis, this sounds like a wonderful project, tell me more about it.

Janis Vandermeer:
It's a great project, it's a people helping people project sponsored nationally by Garden Writers Association of America and Home and Garden Television. And I read about the project, thought it was a great idea, and I work for the State Bank of Cross Plains so I asked them to get involved by sponsoring the program locally. We do that in cooperation with Community Action Coalition, Second Harvest, and the Master Gardeners.

Shelley:
Oh, so a lot of great people are involved already.

Janis:
Yeah, there really is.

Shelley:
What does it involve basically?

Janis:
Well, the simplest form is we ask people to take any excess they have in their garden and donate it to a local meal site or food pantry near them.

Shelley:
So, I truly could donate my zucchini and have it be appreciated.

Janis:
Exactly. We have a gentleman right in Cross Plains who has a plum tree, and he has so much each year, he gives us the plums, and I took them into the food pantry last year and we had people following us in wanting the plums.

Shelley:
Oh, wonderful. Now where does the actual Plant a Row tie in?

Janis:
Well, that's another thing someone can do is designate a specific row in their garden, plant it for the hungry.

Shelley:
Oh sure. Just do one separate row and say everything from here is going to the local food pantry.

Janis:
Exactly.

Shelley:
And so we can get involved as individuals, any other way?

Janis:
Groups, organizations, we have a Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troop 87 in Cross Plains and they've been involved for about four years now. They actually plant a garden and all of the produce goes to the hungry.

Shelley:
So the entire thing then.

Janis:
Exactly. They plant it from the seeds, they get to see the seeds going into the ground, they dig in the dirt and they get to watch the plants grow. And they weed it, harvest the vegetables, and they've actually taken it into the food pantries, taken a little tour there, and actually see the people that get to benefit from the project.

Shelley:
So they see the value of it, from start to finish, the whole thing.

Janis:
Exactly. Yeah, it's a great project.

Shelley:
Where do we get more information if we'd like to become involved?

Janis:
You can contact our website, { GOTOBUTTON BM_1_ www.crossplainsbank.com,} or you can contact Community Action Coalition and they can tell you a meal site or food pantry right near you.

Shelley:
Now are they just Dane County?

Janis:
No, they're statewide, you can call anywhere in the state and find out where you can drop off your vegetables.

Shelley:
Well this sounds like a wonderful way to help feed the hungry and use up extra produce, which, you know, mid-summer, we all have a lot of it in our gardens too.

Janis:
We sure do.

Shelley:
Thank you, thanks Janis.

Janis:
You're welcome.

Shelley:
Get a piece of paper and a pencil handy and we're going to give you the website and the phone number for more information on Plant a Row for the Hungry.

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