Sharing access to local produce

Access to fresh produce is vital to long term community health and wellbeing, and with 80% of Newaygo County residents consuming less than adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, many families depend on TrueNorth Hunger Prevention Programs for access to these healthy food items.

One aspect of the gardener’s tradition is to share extra produce with those in need. Every year, as part of our Plant a Row for Hunger campaign, we ask local gardeners and farmers to remember their neighbors and donate extra produce. Many local gardeners and farmers even go the extra step of planting extra rows of produce for the express purpose of donating to the Food Pantry.

Mike Voyt, our Hunger Prevention Director says this campaign is a two-pronged approach. “We’d love local gardeners and farmers to plant a row and donate produce come harvest time, and hope giving seeds away will help encourage that. But we also want to encourage folks who might depend on the resources from our Food Programs to also have the opportunity to plant home gardens.” We want to encourage and empower local families to grow their own fresh produce.

To help with this, TrueNorth’s Hunger Prevention Programs will offer a seed packet distribution later this month. This seed distribution, which is open to the public, will allow each household to receive five free seed packets, and bonus flower seeds, courtesy of our CEDAM AmeriCorps member. For new and veteran gardeners a set of detailed instructions and tips on growing produce will also be available.