Grow A Rrow

Small farmers and backyard gardeners can make a difference...

With the start of the growing season, the Grow a Row project seeks growers and gardeners willing to donate a portion of their harvest to the Toledo Seagate Food Bank. You may not think a few cucumbers or too many zucchini would make a difference, but to those hungry people who do not eat fresh vegetables everyday, it is ambrosia.

All you need to do is contact the Center for Innovative Food Technology. You will receive a print copy of How to Help the Hungry in Northwest Ohio, a booklet that tells you where to take your harvest donation or, if you have a large donation, who to call for pickup. The Grow a Row Project spans the 18 counties of Northwest Ohio, so anyone in the area can join this worthwhile project.

Grow A Row Participants for 2009

A brochure for the Grow a Row project was distributed in the fall of 2008 throughout Northwest Ohio. The word spread and many gardeners, along with a number of churches, have joined the project. A number of farmers have decided to specifically plant an acre or more for the hungry. Others will donate their excess harvest. The movement is growing - the project has 40 participants, up from 2008.

For more information on Grow A Row...

If you would like to become a Grow A Row Project food donor or receive more information on the project, please contact Louise Mikesell-Wireman at 419.535.6000, ext.112 or You may also view and download our Grow A Row brochure.

Grow A Row - 2008: A Success Story...

Many farmers have a long-standing relationship with the Toledo Seagate Food Bank and donate a portion of their harvest every season to help the hungry. The Grow A Row project started in 2008 and all types of farmers and gardeners joined in the project. Here are some typical stories:


Here is a breakdown of what was donated for the 2008 season.  This produce was given to soup kitchens and distributed to families and individuals through a variety of programs that work with the Toledo Seagate Food Bank.

The figures reflect the number of meals and families served from July through October, 2008. The donations are broken down by agency, shelter and food bank, as well as, product. The product numbers do not represent those farmers who donated produce to local food banks anonymously.

Families & Meals Served in 2008
Agency Families Served Meals Served Produce Donated, lbs
East Toledo Family Center 228 --- 824
Fairgreen Presbyterian Church 140 --- 604
Feed Your Neighbor #10 Lutheran Social Services 1,288 --- 3,474
Feed Your Neighbor #11 Aurora Gonzales Center 1,172 --- 3,184
Feed Your Neighbor #13 Martin Luther Lutheran 1,005 --- 2,512
Feed Your Neighbor #2 Salem/Agape 796 --- 1,990
Feed Your Neighbor #4 Augsburg Lutheran 775 --- 1,938
Fredrick Douglass Center 586 --- 1,465
Friendly Center, Inc. 302 --- 909
Good Shepherd Church 309 --- 772
Helping Hands of St. Louis 387 --- 968
Jamie Farr Park Community Center 138 --- 445
Our Lady of Lourdes 1,741 --- 4,352
St. Martin de Porres 829 --- 2,072
Beach House --- 2,025 5,063
Harbor House/300 Beds, Inc. --- 3,588 11,070
Open Door Ministry, Inc. --- 16,605 41,513
St. Paul's Community Center --- 15,746 39,365
Soup Kitchens
Feed Your Neighbor #2 Salem/Agape --- 2,279 5,697
Kitchen for the Poor --- 9,934 29,628
Our Lady of Lourdes --- 5,344 13,590
St. Patrick's Historical Church --- 1,710 6,275
Total: 9,696 Families 57,231 Meals 177,710 lbs

2008 Produce Donations by Product
Product Produce Donated, lbs
Apples 26,700
Beets 2,258
Bell Peppers 1,125
Cabbage 1,196
Cucumbers 36,936
Potatoes 29,670
Squash/Melons 29,021
Sweet Corn 40,200
Tomatoes 6,010
Tomatoes, Heirloom 100
Turnips 2,338
Misc. Produce 2,156
Total: 177,710 lbs

Additional Links and Articles...

To obtain additional information on the Toledo Seagate Food Bank and view press coverage of the Grow A Row Project and local gleaning activities, please view the following links.

Partner Organizations...

Our City in a Garden
5555 Airport Highway, Ste 100, Toledo, Ohio 43615-7320
419.535.6000       877.668.3472 (toll-free)
419.531.8465 (fax)
© 1995 - 2009 EISC, Inc.

A message from Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur...

''Food needs are rising for many people across our community due to economic conditions. Therefore in mid-February, with over 100 community participants, we held our first City in a Garden forum to discuss how our area could plan, organize, and begin to meet this need effectively and sustainably. We aim to explore how expanded deployment of innovative growing systems can meet rising local food needs and better nutrition, particularly in food-short areas.''

''Experimental efforts with innovative growing systems have been underway for nearly two years across our region. Most importantly, these structures can be replicated in urban areas. Thank you for the work you do every day to help our community become more humane, livable and civil.''

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
US House of Representatives, 9th District - Ohio

Urban Agriculture Resource Links...

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