Note: The following is a news release from Plant a Row Lehigh Valley, which is headquartered in Hellertown.
Plant a Row Lehigh Valley–a nonprofit organization that addresses food insecurity in the Lehigh Valley–is now accepting online registrations for its third annual campaign to help home gardeners donate fruits and vegetables to families and individuals in Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown and surrounding areas.
The latest data available from Second Harvest Food Bank shows that some 69,000 people in the Valley will need food assistance this year to avoid going hungry. Plant a Row Lehigh Valley asks home gardeners to set aside one row of their gardens to donate to these food-insecure individuals and families, and also accepts any overflow produce.
Last year, some 280 backyard gardeners signed up with the program and donated 5,003 pounds of fresh produce to the hungry through Plant a Row Lehigh Valley. The donations consisted of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including more than 250 pounds of cucumbers and over 500 pounds of tomatoes. In total, the donations were enough for families to provide a serving of nutritious fresh produce at over 20,000 meals.
As the 2018 campaign prepares to begin accepting produce in June, the program has announced 19 donation collection points throughout the Lehigh Valley where participants can drop off fruit and vegetables. Each week, volunteers with the program will transport donated produce from the collection points to food pantries and meal centers in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
The program has continued to be warmly received by organizations that provide resources for families and individuals in need in the Lehigh Valley.
“These donations make all the difference to our families…as we saw an increase of 50 to 60 families using our Pantry services on a monthly basis during June through August,” said Kate Cohen, Director of Development and Communications at New Bethany Ministries.
Plant a Row Lehigh Valley is the local campaign of the national Plant a Row program, sponsored by Garden Writers Association. Since 1995, more than 20 million pounds of produce providing over 80 million meals have been donated by American gardeners through this program.
Anyone who is interested in participating in this year’s campaign should register on the Plant a Row Lehigh Valley website: plantarowlv.org. Registering is important, because it allows participants to receive detailed updates about donation dropoff locations, as well as operating days and times. Anyone with questions or comments can contact Plant a Row Lehigh Valley at [email protected].