Extra Garden Produce? Bank It and Make a Difference

Maine Garden Hod

Maine Garden Hod

We have all been there. Our little garden produces great big yields, more than we can use. You have canned all your pantry (and you) can handle, and given away enough that your family and neighbors hide when you come to their door with vegetables. Do not let that last fresh produce spoil! Donate it to your local food bank!

Call your local food bank and ask if it takes fresh produce donations. If so, find out on what days and times. If not, ask if they have the number of a local charity that does. Times are hard all over, with prices rising like they are, and we can each do a little to help. Believe it or not, it adds up and can truly make a great difference in someone’s life.

Pick your produce fresh the day you plan to deliver it. Wash it well. Pick through and discard spoiled pieces or parts. Place your produce in containers that will be easy to lift and carry. If you can leave the containers, it will save time for the charity volunteers and you. With a permanent magic marker write your name, address, and phone number on the bottom to identify your baskets. Many food banks will hold onto your containers and give them back empty when you stop in again.

Get and keep a receipt of the estimated value of your donation, if you want to use your donation as a tax deduction.

Washing and packing your produce garden-side make for less mess and easier production. (Using a wire mesh hod is a great way to do this.) Remember that tomatoes, cabbage, beans, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers and squash are all prolific producers that can help those in need.

Don’t think of this as charity to those who do not try to care for themselves – the need of help in feeding our families can strike any of us in the blink of an eye. With job lay-offs, skyrocketing food costs and high fuel prices, we can all help our community with the gifts our garden provides for us.

Do not wait until the holiday season to take part in the canned food drives – take responsibility and help those in need today!

Here’s a helpful link to find food banks in your area:
Feeding America – Food Bank Locator

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.

One thought on “Extra Garden Produce? Bank It and Make a Difference

  1. What a great reminder. I have helped at a local food pantry for the last two years. When I started, we gave out food for 75 people per week on average. Now in the last few months we are consistently giving for over 100 people per week; some weeks getting as high as 150 people. While the needs are increasing the meaningful donations have been going down. What a good reminder to help those with needs in our communities with our bounty.