Garden Project donates more than 222,800 pounds of produce

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced Thursday, that the volunteers in the Hunger Free ND Garden Project donated more than 222,800 pounds of fresh produce to food pantries, soup kitchens and other charitable community programs in 2012.

“The Hunger Free ND Garden Project is a vital partnership between those who have produce to share and those who receive it,” Goehring said. “It fosters stronger community ties by bringing people together and meeting real needs that exist on a daily basis.”

The Hunger Free ND Garden Project was started in 2010 through the local foods initiative of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) in partnership with the Great Plains Food Bank. The statewide project encourages home gardeners and commercial growers to plant extra produce each year for donation to charitable organizations across the state.

Other partners in the statewide project are Lutheran Social Services, the North Dakota State NDSU Extension Service, the Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture at Dakota College at Bottineau, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, Healthy North Dakota and Pride of Dakota.

In 2012, Northlands Rescue Mission in Grand Forks accepted the largest volume of donations at more than 55,600 pounds, followed by The Banquet at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bismarck with more than 8,500 pounds.