New program to connect Louisiana home gardeners, food banks

Published 7:56 am Monday, March 14, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WINNSBORO, La. — The LSU AgCenter has a new program to help home gardeners in northeast Louisiana donate produce to food pantries in a state with high rates of food insecurity and obesity.

“Grow a Row to Share” is starting in four northeastern parishes with federal grants aimed at reducing high obesity rates, Cecilia Stevens, AgCenter local food systems coordinator at the Scott Research/Extension Center in Winnsboro, said in an email.

“But any interested gardener or charitable food partner can use our guides to create their own program,” she added.

Email newsletter signup

There are also similar endeavors at work. Second Harvest of South Louisiana has a volunteer project called the Fruit Tree Project to collect fruit and other produce from people’s gardens.

A nationwide registry called Ample Harvest can also help gardeners find food banks in their area that have signed in as interested in garden produce.

Grow a Row to Share’s organizers hope to bring in enough fresh vegetables and fruits to add at least one more serving a week for each person in a family using food banks, Stevens said.