Donating Garden Surplus to Tabitha’s Way: Growing Generosity and Health

As spring takes full bloom, Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry invites the community to participate in “Gifts from the Garden” Month this May. In an effort to address the scarcity of fresh produce available to those facing food insecurity, Tabitha’s Way encourages local gardeners and farmers to plant an extra plant, pot, or row specifically to donate. This initiative aims to provide nutritious options to individuals and families in need, contributing to a healthier community overall.

While food pantries stand as pillars in the fight against hunger, offering sustenance to those in need, their shelves are more commonly lined with canned goods and non-perishable items. These staples are undeniably crucial in staving off hunger. However, they often lack the fresh fruits and vegetables essential for a well-rounded, vitamin-rich diet. This gap in availability doesn’t only perpetuate hunger but also the risk factors associated with a diet poor in fresh produce, such as increased susceptibilities to chronic diseases.

Given the startling statistic that 42 million Americans—one in six—lack access to fresh food, and with a third of all food ($218 billion worth) wasted annually, the importance of donations becomes even more pronounced. Astonishingly, 50% of produce is never consumed. This is where the gardeners, farmers, and volunteers come into play, as community and home gardens emerge as vital sources of local, fresh produce for food pantries.

This May, why not celebrate Gifts from the Garden Month with a gift that keeps on giving? By simply planting an extra row or dedicating a pot for hunger relief, you can directly contribute to decreasing food waste and improving access to fresh produce in your community. Vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, onions, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and beans not only thrive in local conditions but also provide essential nutrients and variety in diet to those who might otherwise have limited access to fresh food.

Aligning with their mission to provide food and essential life supplies to the needy, donating your garden surplus can play a significant role in enhancing the quality of assistance they offer. Fresh produce is a luxury in many food pantries, and your donation can be the difference between a meal that merely satisfies hunger and one that nourishes.

To get started, consider easy-to-grow, high-yield vegetables that are popular and versatile such as beans, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, and squash. Then spread the word! Encourage your gardening community to join in. The more people participate, the larger the impact we can make.

In a world where so much is wasted and many go without, your garden can become a source of hope and health. Donating garden surplus to places like Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry is a simple, yet profound act of kindness. It’s a reminder that in every seed planted, there’s potential for growth, and in every vegetable harvested, there’s an opportunity to nurture not just our bodies, but our communities as well.

Submitted by Randi Kaufman

Guest Contributor
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Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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