Grow for your neighbor! Share your produce with us

According to a 2014 study by the National Gardening Association, more than 42 million Americans grow fruit, herbs, and vegetables in home gardens – and that number is increasing. Once they start the harvest, home gardeners use, preserve and share the bounty... but the squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. keep on coming. While some gardeners compost the excess produce, many others simply let it rot in the garden or worse, throw it into the trash, adding to the waste stream and causing the release of methane gas as it decomposes - contributing to climate change. Studies show that this excess food loss exceeds 11 billion pounds.

But there is another choice! You can donate your excess produce to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. When you’re planting your garden in the spring, try adding just one or two extra plants; then, you can donate the produce from them while still growing enough for your own family to use. Squash plants (including zucchini), cucumbers, and potatoes are just a few examples of plants that produce a lot of food that you can grow to donate.

Sharing already plays a huge role in gardening; you’ve probably swapped seeds with friends or shared extra tomatoes with your neighbors before they went bad. We’d like to invite you to expand your circle of generosity by giving your extra fruits and veggies to neighbors who need fresh food. Home-grown produce is way too delicious to waste, so put your surplus to work feeding local families!

Providing fresh produce to the FRFB offers a number of benefits to both the recipient as well as the community. Not only is fresh produce healthier than canned (no excess salt or sugar in the diet) goods, it tastes a lot better, has a much smaller carbon footprint, and has eye appeal too. Children, given the opportunity to enjoy fresh veggies, are more likely to eat a healthier diet as they get older and quickly learn that apples do not normally come pre-sliced in cellophane. Lastly, by helping to feed the neighbors in our community instead of throwing the excess away, America reduces its waste stream as well as the cost of keeping people from going hungry - all because the produce was given to the FRFB and not wasted.

For more information on how you can share your upcoming harvest with your neighbors facing hunger, please contact Latifah Lee at 540-371-7666 Ext. 133 or email

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