Local Gardeners’ PARt in Ending Hunger

Calling all backyard, community, and school gardeners!  You can make a difference in the lives of your neighbors in need by Planting a Row for the Hungry. With daylight savings time starting this weekend, spring feels just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning and planting your garden! But as you’re dreaming of your summer squashes, tomatoes, beans, and corn, there’s something else you can dream of: helping feed those in need in your community with garden-fresh, healthy produce: yours.

What is Plant a Row for the Hungry?

Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) is a national program created by The Garden Writers Association that encourages garden communities and individuals to donate fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs to people in need. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is the PAR partner in the Triangle

How do I PARticipate?

No matter the size of your garden, you can make a difference.  Just 1 pound of your fresh produce supplements 4 meals. You can earmark a row in your garden to donate, or just commit to donate your excess (like in the summer when you’re overflowing with zucchini  and your family and friends are already sick of it! ). Sign up on our website (select Plant a Row for the Hungry member)!

There are a number of drop-off sites where you can bring your donated produce in Wake and Durham counties (now including Duke Gardens!). Find the list of places and times along with produce guidelines on our website here.

This Saturday, March 9th from 11am-4pm, our partner Logan’s Trading Company is holding a kick-off event for their 5th year as a Plant a Row drop-off site. Last year they collected over 20,000 lbs of fresh produce from generous local gardeners. You can help them surpass that and meet their new goal of 25,000 lbs! Plus, if you sign up at the event (which includes free gardening classes and activities for kids and the whole family), you’ll receive a Goodie Bag filled with coupons, freebies , and more to help you get your PAR garden started. There will even be drawings for a composter, locally made goodies, an apple tree, and a blueberry bush!

Earlier that day, if you’re heading to AHA’s Dig In event, look for our table to sign up there, too!

Who should PARticipate?

If you garden or are involved in a garden, YOU! We welcome donations from individuals, community gardens, and school gardens. Two of our largest PAR donor gardens include Highland Methodist United Church Victory Community Garden, which donated over 3500 lbs last year, and Hayes Barton United Methodist Church’s Mustard Seed Garden community garden.

Why Plant a Row?

We believe everyone has a right to fresh, healthy food. However, this right goes unrealized for far too many in our community. One in four children in North Carolina is at risk of hunger. Paradoxically, due to lack of access to and lack of enough income to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, people experiencing hunger and food insecurity are also the most likely to be overweight and obese, and also to suffer from chronic illness. North Carolina has some the highest rates of obesity and chronic disease in the US, and the most limited access to healthy, fresh foods. By Planting a Row, you help people experiencing hunger and food insecurity gain access to fresh, local, nutritious produce!