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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also view and download our Grow A Row brochure.
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:
A farmer from the Holland area harvested his row of melons and donated 20 cantaloupes that ended up at the Kitchen for the Poor. They were cleaned and cut up for lunch and served approximately 200 people.
A North Toledo gardener designated 2 tomato plants for the hungry. His 8 pound donation of cherry tomatoes was distributed to a veterans group that afternoon and 20 veterans received fresh tomatoes in their box that week.
One farmer in Oregon planted a half acre of tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, beets and turnips specifically for the hungry. Two thousand pounds of fresh produce was harvested and distributed over a nine week period. The majority of the produce was distributed to Northwest Ohio soup kitchens and much of it is parceled out to families in need.
The farmers and townspeople of Edon, a small rural Ohio town located on the Indiana border, donated land and labor to plow, plant, cultivating, harvest and pack potatoes for the hungry. At harvest time, volunteers bagged over eleven thousand pounds of potatoes and donated them to the Toledo Seagate Food Bank. These potatoes were distributed to all participants in the 18 counties.
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|
|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|
|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|
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.
Trip to Edon Results in Tons of Potatoes for Needy - An article by The Press writer J. Patrick Eaken
Our City in a Garden
''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
Regional/Urban Programs & Information
Ohio State University Extension Urban Programs
Other Urban Progams
YVCC Yak Community Garden Home - Useful links to numerous resources under Assignment #1 and Assignment #2.