Andrew Fritz, Urban Agriculture Conservationist
At the beginning of the harvest season we started a program encouraging gardeners in Hamilton County to donate their extra garden vegetables. Our goal was to reduce wasted, spare neighbors from a deluge of tomatoes and cucumbers, and and help alleviate nutritional scarcity among those who face food insecurity in Hamilton County.
In just seven weeks, the Hamilton County SWCD office successfully collected 119 lbs. of peppers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini from local gardeners that were then donated to local food pantries in Hamilton County. To put that weight in perspective, 119 lbs. is approximately 1,000 USDA food servings (Source: Pounds to Servings Calculator). That's a lot of food!
The program works like a canned food drive only instead of cans of food, gardeners drop off their surplus garden vegetables at our office on a weekly basis. We then delivered the produce to a participating food pantry. This year we donated to the Noblesville Township Trustee Office.
Fresh food packed with nutrition is not a common item at many food pantries. Thanks to you, food pantries were able to distribute more nutritional foods to the community.