New program to connect Louisiana home gardeners, food banks
Published 7:56 am Monday, March 14, 2022
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.
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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.