Hunger Free ND Garden Project seeks produce donations
BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is urging gardeners and produce growers to consider donating their surplus to a local food pantry or other charitable feeding organizations through the Hunger Free ND Garden Project.
“Although planting got off to a late start, summer vegetables are ripening in gardens across much of North Dakota, and many people are expecting bumper crops of beets, cucumbers, onions, scallions, kale, summer squash, zucchini and other produce,” Goehring said. “If you grow more vegetables than you and your family can eat, please donate some of them for distribution to the hungry.”
Goehring said a chart showing when fruits and vegetables are ready for harvest is available at www.healthynd.org/publications/InSeasonHarvestCalendar.pdf.
“Anyone from backyard gardeners to farmers market vendors to large-scale vegetable growers who grows vegetables and fruits can help out,” Goehring said. “If your local food pantry is not currently on the list, please ask them to consider accepting fresh produce.”
More information on the Hunger Free ND Garden Project, including a listing of agencies accepting donations, is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/program-info/local-foods-initiative/hunger-free-nd-garden-project or by contacting the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (701) 328-2231 or (800) 242-7535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now in its fourth year, the Hunger Free ND Garden Project is a joint effort of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), Lutheran Social Services, Great Plains Food Bank, NDSU Extension Service, Dakota College at Bottineau, Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, The North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, Healthy North Dakota and Pride of Dakota.
The project encourages farmers and gardeners to plant extra produce for donation to food pantries, soup kitchens and other charitable community programs.