Home vegetable gardeners are asked to donate to their local Food Pantry
Feeding America believes that food insecurity impacts 1 in 8 people in western and northern Michigan. To address this issue, Michigan State University Extension is encouraging home gardeners to consider “growing a row” of produce for donation to their local food pantry this season. Many northern Michigan pantries are seeking donations of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs. All donations are welcome, but please consider popular items such as:
Pantries ask that donated produce is clean, fresh, ripe, whole, uncut, undamaged and separate packaging/bags for different produce types. If using pesticides make sure to follow the pesticide instructions. Please do not donate produce that you would not buy for your own family.
Under terms of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, donors are protected from liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the recipient. Be sure to check with your local pantry on the best days and times to bring in donated produce.
Michigan State University Extension provides support for home gardeners. This web site (https://www.canr.msu.edu/vegetable_gardening/) provides an extensive list of resources from finding the best location for a vegetable garden in your yard, to planting techniques, to managing pests and diseases. MSU Extension Master Gardeners also staff a toll free hotline during normal business hours in the growing season for gardening questions at 1-888-678-3464.
If you don’t have a vegetable garden at home, you might consider purchasing some fresh produce at a farmers market or from a local farm stand to donate to a food pantry.
Michigan State University Extension works with community partners, such as the Lake County Community Food Council, to address food systems issues. The Lake County Community Food Council meets monthly at St. Ann’s Church in Baldwin. If you would like to become involved in these efforts, please contact Kendra Wills, MSU Extension Community Food Systems Educator at (616) 608-7424 or firstname.lastname@example.org