“Grow a Row to Share” Connects Home Gardeners with Food Pantries

(Winnsboro, LA) – Louisiana has some of the highest rates of both food insecurity and obesity in the country. One in four children and one in six families face hunger in a nation where 40% of the food produced goes to waste.

Food pantries and other charitable food distributors work to provide healthy food to their clients, but fresh fruits and vegetables are often not available. The LSU AgCenter hopes to address food waste and healthy food access through its new Grow a Row to Share program.

“Last year I received several calls from gardeners wanting to know how and where they could donate produce,” said Cecilia Stevens, LSU AgCenter local food systems coordinator. “There was no system in place to connect gardeners and distributors. And food safety was a large concern.”

Grow a Row to Share guides home gardeners and charitable food partners through the process of growing, harvesting, and safely distributing fresh produce. LSU AgCenter food safety specialist Dr. Achyut Adhikari and local food systems specialist Makenzie Miller will assist Stevens in training participants.

The requirements for the program are simple. Home gardeners sign up then receive food production and safety information from the AgCenter. The gardeners are matched with participating charitable food agencies in their area and learn the days and time for food collection.

“Any amount of produce can be donated. You can designate a row, a single day’s harvest, or even an entire garden to the program,” said Stevens.

Charitable food partners receive training resources on safe food handing, storage, and distribution. Both the home gardeners and the charitable food distributors receive signage acknowledging that they are a Grow a Row to Share partner.

Home gardeners can enroll at https://bit.ly/growtoshare. For more information, contact Cecilia Stevens at cstevens@agcenter.lsu.edu.

5/26/2022 1:38:15 PM
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture