The next time a friend says thanks, but no thanks, to your latest offering of homegrown zucchini, think about donating it. You could join the network of organizations across the country that directs unused food toward the nation’s hungry. Food Forward, founded by Rick Nahmias and manned by hordes of volunteers, has gleaned tons of fruits from farms in Southern California to be distributed to food pantries. They post regular schedules on Facebook so volunteers can meet to pick fruit.
Closer to home, Yvonne Scott and Debbie Dapson are the coordinators for Giving Gardens, PAR’s Bernalillo chapter. Scott meets me at The Source community wellness center, where she is the master gardener. She tells me, “Sharing food with strangers is a ritual as old as humankind. It is part of every culture, religion, ethnic group and society in the world.” In New Mexico, according to Scott, nearly 40,000 people seek food assistance every week.
“Sharing food with strangers is a ritual as old as humankind. It is part of every culture, religion, ethnic group and society in the world.”
Yvonne Scott, coordinator for Giving Gardens
• Dig into the Giving Gardens program by contacting Scott or Dapson at firstname.lastname@example.org and obtaining a brochure and a row marker for your garden. Giving Gardens coordinators will be happy to meet with you or your community, church or school to schedule a speaking engagement. Plan ahead so that next year’s zucchini patch will have a marker dedicated to Plant a Row for the Hungry.
• Roadrunner Food Bank will use every fruit, vegetable and herb you can bring. Contact Roadrunner for information on when and how to donate. Find detailed information on its website: rrfb.org/
• To learn more about fruit foraging, see fallenfruit.org/