As we enjoy the long-awaited seasonal delights from our gardens, I was thinking that we could all use a little reminder to donate to our local food banks. There are good resources on the web that will help you find a food bank near you.
Ample Harvest is a great web site devoted to doing just that.
Sharing the bounty at harvest time comes naturally to gardeners - growing means giving. Sometimes we are sharing only with our families, but most often it's with our neighbors and community too. Planting a few extra vegetables to donate for those in need is a simple but powerful way for urban gardeners to contribute to the well-being of all members of our communities.
Growing food is a fundamental human activity that leads naturally to sharing our abundance with our neighbors.
At my local food donation center, CommunityServices Agency (CSA) in Mountain View California, on average over 200 people a day shop at the agency’s Food and Nutrition Center for food to supplement what they and their families have to eat. The most popular items are fresh fruit and vegetables, and sadly there is often not enough of these to distribute. Donations of fresh herbs are also welcome and gardeners usually have an abundance of prolific herbs (oregano, thyme, mint, basil, etc.).
Most gardeners are happy to contribute their surplus garden produce to feed the hungry, but the challenge is raising awareness about this simple but critical act. It truly makes an enormous difference to those who just can't afford fresh produce on a regular basis.
So this summer get the most out of your luscious ripe tomatoes - think of those grateful and happy families benefiting from your generosity and thoughtfulness. Then remind your friends and neighbors to donate too!
Please share your favorite ways to donate your extra garden harvest - you might inspire someone to do the same...
A version of this post was published on Eat Drink Better
Photos: Patricia Larenas, Urban Artichoke