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‘Don’t Let your Veggies Grow Up To be Compost’ – Donate your garden surplus to the hungry

FDN-logox400From Jane Mt. Pleasant:

Note new pick-up day this year: Drop off donations Tuesdays before 5 p.m. to the walk-in cooler on the garden floor, Plant Science G04E.

I know that many of you are home gardeners and sometimes have more produce from your garden than you and your family can eat. Instead of throwing those zucchini on the compost pile or letting them rot in the field, you can donate them to the Friendship Donations Network. This local non-profit (of which I am a board member and volunteer), collects good, nutritious food that would otherwise be discarded from stores, farms, and other donors, and redistributes it to people in our community who need it. (Watch FDN’s 11-minute video to get a quick, compelling overview.)

Four years ago, FDN started Neighborhood Food Hubs to increase the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables that we rescue and redistribute. Individuals and families volunteer their front porches to serve as weekly collection spots where home gardeners in their neighborhoods bring their extra fruits and vegetables.

For the last three years, we’ve had a Food Hub in the Plant Science Building. Since we started we’ve collected almost a thousand pounds of produce that would otherwise have been discarded. Instead, the food was distributed to food pantries and other programs. It ended up on the plates of people who need it.

We are organizing a Plant Science Food Hub again this year. I think we can collect much more than we did in 2016, when the drought reduced our donations!

Here’s how it works. Bring your excess produce every Tuesday (note the new day of the week) before 5 p.m. to the walk-in cooler on the garden floor, Plant Science G04E. (There will be signs posted to direct you to the cooler.) I collect it at the end of the day and take it to FDN’s storage and office space in downtown Ithaca. (You can also donate extra produce from your CSA if you find that you have more than you can eat! As long as the produce is in good shape, FDN will take it.)

We will start collecting on Tuesday, July 11, and continue every Tuesday through October 10.

There may be a Hub close to your home. (There are also Hubs at some community gardens). Please donate there if it’s more convenient. View map of hubs.

Finally, if you have a very large garden and find yourself with more vegetables than you can easily bring to work with you, let me know and FDN will send a volunteer to pick up the produce at your home.

If you have questions, call or email me: jm21@cornell.edu or 255-4670. Thank you for your support and participation in this important activity.

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