Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Vegetables can be given to needy

The Collingswood Farmers´ Market is a popular Saturday-morning event that runs from May until just before Thanksgiving near downtown. Home gardeners who have extra produce can donate it to Philabundance for distribution to those in need. (Michael Bryant/Staff/File photo)
The Collingswood Farmers' Market is a popular Saturday-morning event that runs from May until just before Thanksgiving near downtown. Home gardeners who have extra produce can donate it to Philabundance for distribution to those in need. (Michael Bryant/Staff/File photo)

CHERRY HILL If you plan your backyard garden with your eyes more than your stomach and never know what to do with your extra produce, here's a worthy option: Philabundance, through its Share the Harvest program, will be collecting extra produce all summer to be taken to nearby food pantries. Think Victory Gardens of World War II, but with food insecurity as the foe.

Every Saturday from this week to Sept. 27, Philabundance will accept donations from home gardens in the area, including at Springdale Farms at 1638 S. Springdale Rd. in Cherry Hill. Donations can also be made in Philadelphia and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.

"It's a way for people to enjoy gardening and give back to their local communities in a really easy way," Marlo DelSordo, the director of communications at Philabundance, said. "You can volunteer at the site, you can plant seeds with your kids. It's a really nice way of giving back to the community while doing something you really enjoy."

As a result of weather issues, the cost of produce in grocery stores has risen by about 3 percent this year, according a USDA study cited in the Share the Harvest news release. Those with tight budgets are apt to cut out fresh produce before most other foods, DelSordo said.

There were about 135.5 million meals missed in the area in 2012 and 14.5 percent of people were food insecure, according to Philabundance.

"When you look at Camden . . . as far as the number of people in poverty," food insecurity is high, DelSordo said.

Last year, according to the news release, Philabundance collected approximately 6,800 pounds of produce for the hungry through Share the Harvest.

For more information on where to donate or how to volunteer, go to philabundance.org/sharetheharvest.

- Clark Mindock

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