“What if you could help solve America’s hunger problem … in your own backyard?”
This question is being answered by home and community gardeners nationwide as part of a campaign that enlists gardens in the fight against hunger. Gardener’s Supply Company is kicking off Garden to Give, an initiative to challenge gardeners across the country to donate fruits and veggies from their own gardens to their local food pantries.
“We can easily lose sight of the fact that people in our own communities don’t know from one day to the next whether they’re going to have food on the table,” says Gardener’s Supply Company president Jim Feinson. “Our goal for Garden to Give is to donate 25-thousand tons of food this year. That’s a big goal, but we feel it’s in reach if gardeners take the pledge to make a difference in their own backyards.”
In consultation with numerous food pantries, Gardener’s Supply has also developed free, online resources to help gardeners design a Giving Garden, that includes many of the durable veggies food pantries are most keen to accept.
The first five hundred people to take the pledge to Garden to Give will receive free seeds for an entire Giving Garden, courtesy of High Mowing Organic Seeds. And people who pledge will also be entered in a monthly drawing for a $100 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate.
“Raising awareness about hunger is a major component of this campaign,” says Gardener’s Supply Director of Good Works, Claudia Marshall. “Plus, by using the power of our own gardens to offer fresh, local and, in many cases, organic food to our hungry neighbors, we’re putting a potent solution in the hands of individuals. And since most of our customers already love to garden, this is a joy, not a chore.”
Company is also partnering with several, national organizations on Garden to Give, including the American Community Gardening Association and Seed Money. In addition to spreading the word, some groups are also providing special programming. KidsGardening is offering lesson plans and activity ideas on hunger and gardening to tens of thousands of teachers nationwide.
Another partner in Garden to Give is AmpleHarvest.org, a national, non-profit that helps gardeners find their local food pantries online. “Not everybody knows where or what to donate, so we’re linking to AmpleHarvest.org to take the guesswork out the mix,” says Marshall.
Since its founding in the early 80s, Gardener’s Supply Company has advocated for children, the environment, sustainable agriculture and more, donating 8-percent of the company’s profits each year to ‘causes that make the world a better place through gardening.’ “This year, we’ve added “Katie’s Krops,” to our roster of donation recipients. It’s a national group that supports dozens of youngsters who grow food and donate all of it locally,” says Marshall.
Many Gardener’s Supply employee-owners volunteer at company-run community gardens at three, Vermont facilities, growing and donating all the veggies to the food insecure in the community. The program, called, “Company Farm,” is expected to expand to all five of the company’s facilities in 2018.
About Gardener’s Supply Company
Founded in 1983, Gardener’s Supply Company is a 100% employee-owned company of avid gardeners providing garden-tested, earth-friendly products combined with practical information. Based in Burlington, Vermont, the company has won many awards for its innovative gardening products, online gardening content and progressive management style. Gardener’s Supply is also a Certified B Corporation and donates 8-percent of its profits to charity. www.gardeners.com