Plant a Row for the Hungry

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Staff Report

Before planting a backyard garden or farmland fields, the Food Bank of Delaware is asking the public to keep them in mind. In their Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign local gardner and farmers are planting extra rows of fruits and vegetables to directly donate to those in need.

Since 1995 the Food Bank of Delaware has been distributing food throughout the city of Milford, committing to create a community free of hunger.  Their after-school feeding program provides nutritious meals and snacks to after-school and other enrichment programs including the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milford and the Milford School District. Serving approximately 17,500 different people through the Food Bank’s network of hunger-relief partners in any given week, the need for fresh produce continues to grow.

As the summer’s crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and string beans begin to sprout, the Food Bank of Delaware is encouraging local gardeners and farmers to keep hungry Delawareans in mind as they harvest their summer bounty. Planting a designated row for the Food Bank does not take much extra effort but the end product is significant. According to the Food Bank of Delaware, the average harvest from a typical packet of snap bean seeds yields 20 pounds of produce and dense vegetables such as carrots can produce about 100 pounds.

“The cost of this type of donation is relatively inexpensive and a great way to give back, and continue to give back as the garden continues to grow,” commented Chad Robinson, Director of the Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch. “The donation can come from an individual with any size garden. It can be someone with a small home garden or a farmer that owns acres of land.”

Fresh produce is one item that the Food Bank often lacks the ability to provide to those in need. Since lower income families tend to have less access to fresh produce it is difficult for them to always get the proper nutrition needed for a healthy existence. Donated freshly harvested produce will allow these individuals to obtain a healthier lifestyles and ensure that low-income adults and children receive proper nutrition.

If you have the space the Food Bank of Delaware encourages you to grow a row of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, beets carrots or sweet peppers. The surplus of these harvests can be donated to the Milford warehouse, located on 1040 Mattlind Way, on weekdays from 8:30am to 4pm. For more information on the Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch visit www.fbd.org or call 302-424-3301.

“The benefits are really two fold,” commented Mr. Robinson. “It gives the Food Bank fresh produce to give to a community that doesn’t always have the access to plant produce and is a very personal thing for individuals to give their time and love to donate to others.”