All Posts   Posted:   May 25, 2016 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education

Dennis’ 7 Dees garden centers are proud to announce our participation in a program called “Plant a Row for the Hungry” (PAR) which was started more than 20 years ago by the Garden Writers Association. PAR is a people-helping-people program that encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries serving the homeless and hungry in their local communities.

In effort to make donating fresh food more convenient, our garden centers are accepting donations from community members with excess produce each week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-5. All donations will be dropped off on the same day to one or more local food pantries; by donating produce directly to the food agencies, gardeners help organizations and their patrons stretch their meager resources! We invite you to participate by growing and donating some of your extra produce as well as help to spread the word and promote the program to your friends and neighbors to support our efforts.

We made our first donation last Friday of produce harvested from display planters at each garden center location; the planters had been growing cool-season crops that were all coming ripe and the planters were scheduled to be replanted with warm-season crops this week. Each garden center harvested about 20lbs of fresh spinach, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, peas, carrots, beets and Romanesco; we had a total of 9 coolers packed with over 60lbs of produce to deliver for our first visit to our local food pantry! When arriving at the food pantry on Friday evening they were open to the public and there were several people picking up donated food. The fresh food offerings for the day consisted of a wilted package of celery and a shriveled lemon accompanied by the usual array of processed & packaged goods. Volunteers quickly assembled when asked for help carrying the many coolers in from the car and as they were brought in the contents were emptied and began to disappear before our very eyes. It was an emotional experience to be a part of – for both the donor and the recipients. One woman who was there with her elderly parents called her mother over to look into a cooler full of fresh kale and when faced with such bounty the older woman burst into tears and simply thanked us with a hug.

Thanks for reading this message, it only takes a handful of beans, tomatoes or one zucchini to make a difference when we all pool our efforts together! Happy gardening, please contact us if you have any questions about this program.

Guidelines for handling fresh fruits and vegetables:

  • Pick early in the day for best quality.
  • Keep produce out of the heat and in the shade.
  • For delicate produce like tomatoes and berries, avoid deep containers; the weight on top damages the produce below.
  • Deliver to Dennis’ 7 Dees soon after harvest to retain freshness and quality.

Dennis’ 7 Dees garden centers are proud to announce our participation in a program called “Plant a Row for the Hungry” (PAR) which was started more than 20 years ago by the Garden Writers Association. PAR is a people-helping-people program that encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries serving the homeless and hungry in their local communities.

In effort to make donating fresh food more convenient, our garden centers are accepting donations from community members with excess produce each week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-5. All donations will be dropped off on the same day to one or more local food pantries; by donating produce directly to the food agencies, gardeners help organizations and their patrons stretch their meager resources! We invite you to participate by growing and donating some of your extra produce as well as help to spread the word and promote the program to your friends and neighbors to support our efforts.

We made our first donation last Friday of produce harvested from display planters at each garden center location; the planters had been growing cool-season crops that were all coming ripe and the planters were scheduled to be replanted with warm-season crops this week. Each garden center harvested about 20lbs of fresh spinach, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, peas, carrots, beets and Romanesco; we had a total of 9 coolers packed with over 60lbs of produce to deliver for our first visit to our local food pantry! When arriving at the food pantry on Friday evening they were open to the public and there were several people picking up donated food. The fresh food offerings for the day consisted of a wilted package of celery and a shriveled lemon accompanied by the usual array of processed & packaged goods. Volunteers quickly assembled when asked for help carrying the many coolers in from the car and as they were brought in the contents were emptied and began to disappear before our very eyes. It was an emotional experience to be a part of – for both the donor and the recipients. One woman who was there with her elderly parents called her mother over to look into a cooler full of fresh kale and when faced with such bounty the older woman burst into tears and simply thanked us with a hug.

Thanks for reading this message, it only takes a handful of beans, tomatoes or one zucchini to make a difference when we all pool our efforts together! Happy gardening, please contact us if you have any questions about this program.

Guidelines for handling fresh fruits and vegetables:

  • Pick early in the day for best quality.
  • Keep produce out of the heat and in the shade.
  • For delicate produce like tomatoes and berries, avoid deep containers; the weight on top damages the produce below.
  • Deliver to Dennis’ 7 Dees soon after harvest to retain freshness and quality.