Gardeners certainly understand the connection between growing a vegetable garden and sharing the fruits of their efforts with others. In addition to the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign, there are other organizations working to help gardeners provide food for their communities.
Just recently I learned about a similar year-round “gardening for good” program called Ample Harvest.
According to information on its website, “AmpleHarvest.org gives food pantries the opportunity to be listed in a central nationwide directory so that gardeners can share their fresh produce and, garden-by-garden, help diminish hunger in America.”
I first heard from Gary Oppenheimer, founder of AmpleHarvest.org, when he wrote to ask permission to use a photo he found on this site.
In his email to me, Gary mentioned his work to encourage local food pantries across the country to register on the Ample Harvest website.
He said each additional food pantry listed is another opportunity for local gardeners to share their ample harvest within their communities.
Gary explained that Ample Harvest is similar to Plant a Row for the Hungry effort because it gives gardeners an outlet for sharing their garden produce with neighborhood food pantries.
The site is free both for the food pantries and the gardeners using it.
“Backed by Google.com and the USDA, more than 1,750 food pantries nationwide are already on it and more are signing up daily,” he wrote.
“It includes preferred delivery times, driving instructions to the pantry as well as (in many cases) information about store bought items also needed by the pantry (for after the growing season). A free Ample Harvest iPhone app is also available.”
If your community has a food pantry, Gary–and I–encourage you to make sure it’s registered on the AmpleHarvest.org website.
If you drop by the website, you’ll be able to see the picture Gary had contacted me about that shows Montana gardener Amy Grisak with one of her bountiful harvests.