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Planting a Seed to Fight Hunger

Posted on 12/9/2010 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

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Vegetable-Garden.jpg
Photo from Nashville Urban Gardens

Here’s a safe bet: When I say “volunteer to help the hungry” you envision serving food to homeless people at a shelter, soup kitchen or similar facility. Am I right?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. For those folks, one way to help feed the hungry while embracing a hobby is to start or join a community garden. If that is impractical for you, you might be able to help through your own backyard produce garden. Again, I bet I know what you’re thinking: Gardening? In December?
But starting a community garden – or even joining an existing one – can take months, so now is a good time to start planning. Check out this Create the Good how-to guide on starting or joining a community garden.
According to the non-profit group AmpleHarvest.org, a distressing amount of produce grown in community and personal gardens goes to waste because it greatly exceeds what the gardeners and their families can consume (this in addition to the estimated 100 billion pounds of food wasted yearly in the U.S.).
AmpleHarvest.org was founded to help get produce that would otherwise be wasted to food pantries and, ultimately, to the hungry people who need that food. The group says that its program often moves produce to a pantry within hours of harvesting.
What do you think of this type of system? How do you think we, as Americans, can change our approach to food production and consumption to help feed the hungry?