The Golden Food Bank is asking residents to help them make sure there is fresh produce in each and every food hamper.
“Fresh produce is a critical component of our food hampers. We always ensure we have at least five varieties of fresh fruit or vegetables in each hamper,” said Barb Davies, executive director of the Golden Food Bank.
That is why she is hoping that Golden residents will take part in the food bank’s Plant a Row Grow a Row program. It builds on the longstanding tradition of gardeners loving to share their harvest with others. All you have to do is grow a little extra, and donate the produce to the food bank.
It’s an easy way to share extra fruit, berries and vegetables with the community, especially during this time of year when gardeners are often experiencing a surplus in their own gardens.
The Plant a Row Grow a Row campaign started in Winnipeg in 1986, initiated by Ron and Eunice O’Donovan. That year they produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than their family could consume. They donated the excess to their local food bank. Their idea was met with such enthusiasm that the O’Donovan’s encouraged their friends and neighbours to also donate their surplus produce. Since then, more that 1.4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables have been given to Winnipeg’s food bank through the program.
The Golden Food Bank experiencing a food shortage right now, and the demand for their services has increased by 21 per cent since last year.
“This increase is stretching our resources beyond our current capacity,” said Davies.
The food bank is grateful for the non-perishable donations they have received, like pasta, canned food, sauces, beans and much more. But it is important to be giving out fresh food as well.
“With the current increase in demand we have had to reduce the amount of food available in a food hamper. This puts a real strain on those in need who rely on the food bank to get them through the month,” said Davies.
Food donations can be dropped off at Overwaitea during their regular hours. Or, at the Food Bank Tuesdays through Fridays during the day. Cash donations can be mailed to the Food Bank at Box 1047, Golden BC, V0A 1H0.