Sharing Your Garden Bounty with Neighbors in Need
One out of every eight Americans is food insecure, with many relying on local food banks and pantries to meet their family’s needs. Although the pantries make a best effort to offer nutritious food to their clients, they usually can’t provide fresh produce for a variety of reasons.
At the same time, millions of backyard gardeners often grow far more produce than they can actually use … with the extra crop left unharvested. Unfortunately, gardeners eager to share this bounty usually can’t because most pantries are neither in the yellow pages nor on the Internet.
The AmpleHarvest.org campaign solves this dilemma by inviting food banks/pantries to register in a central directory that accepts name/address/phone information, along with preferred delivery day[s]/times, an optional photograph of the building and any other information the pantry may want to post.
Once registered, a pantry can then be easily found by gardeners looking for a food pantry within a specific distance of their home. AmpleHarvest.org even provides detailed driving instructions from the gardener’s home to the pantry. The site also enables pantries to list those store bought items they most need for anyone wishing to make a non-produce donation.
AmpleHarvest.org has the support of the USDA, Google.com, VFW, Catholic Charities, Garden Writers of America, Plant-A-Row and other organizations. It operates on a non-profit basis with all involved donating their time and talent. There are no costs to food pantries or gardeners for use of the site.
The AmpleHarvest.org campaign was rolled out only 3 weeks ago and has already been received very enthusiastically throughout the country.
There is a lot more work to be done, and Ample Harvest needs your help!
1. Register your local food pantry
Right now, the AmpleHarvest.org campaign is focused on registering as many of the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 food pantries nationwide as possible before gardeners start harvesting their gardens later in the summer. They are asking people who belong to or know of a house of worship or community center hosting a food pantry to encourage the pantry managers to visit www.AmpleHarvest.org. The ultimate success of the campaign will depend upon the number of food pantries that get the opportunity to be in the directory
2. Spread the word
They are also asking people to forward this information to friends nationwide... inviting anyone who knows of a food pantry in their own community to contact the pantry directly and encourage it to register on AmpleHarvest.org.
3. Start gardening!
Lastly, they are asking people to share this with their “green thumbed” friends nationwide who may be interested in sharing their bounty later this year.
At a time when so many people are short on money, the AmpleHarvest.org campaign enables millions to diminish hunger in America by reaching into their backyard instead of their back pocket.