Harvest 2020 Program aims to inspire gardeners, feed those in need

DELAWARE – The Food Bank of Delaware and the Delaware Center for Horticulture are calling all gardeners to help provide food for those in need. “This whole effort is essentially about producing food and getting it into the hands of households who really need it,” said executive director of DCH Vikram Krishnamurthy.

The organizations say that whether you’re an experienced gardener – or if you’ve never grown a vegetable in your life – you can lend a helping hand in the Harvest 2020 program. “We really wanted to bring this capacity for growing food to bear and we think that there’s a role certainly for our organizations and that there’s really a role for everyone,” said Krishnamurthy.

The Food Bank of Delaware says that this help is especially needed – as many are facing the choice between spending money on fresh produce, or stretching a dollar with canned goods. “Those are some of the most expensive items in the grocery store. So if a family is thinking about their food budget – there’s limited food dollars – and they’re thinking about how to spend them, then they might make a decision to not go for that fresh produce,” said community relations director Chad Robinson.

Robinson says access to fresh produce is a big focus point for the food bank. “One of the greatest things that we can do is give out that fresh, locally grown produce. We’re always excited about that. We want to be able to provide nutritious food to the folks in need,” said Robinson.

The organizations are teaming up to inspire people to grow their own produce, and share some of their yields with others in need. The DCH says any level of gardener can join in, as they’re providing free gardening instruction videos and starter seeds. “This is a way to supplement that and perhaps inspire some change in nutrition and in wellness in that regard,” said Krishnamurthy.

The Food Bank of Delaware says that their role is to help distribute the food, and raise awareness about how people can help feed others in need. “This gives us an opportunity to work with our friends at DCH to expand the knowledge base that’s out there in the community to let folks know that we are happy to accept a portion of that harvest,” said Robinson.

Krishnamurthy says that this partnership not only widens DCH’s reach, but also helps make communities stronger. “The collaborative nature of these organizational resources coming together in terms of broadening our capacity and being able to expand statewide in Delaware and have that kind of impact – that’s what I’m really excited about,” said Krishnamurthy.

The Food Bank of Delaware says that during all of 2019, they distributed about eight and a half million pounds of food. Just from March of this year until June they’ve already distributed five and a half million. “We’re sharing the same mission in the respect that there are folks out there that have that green thumb and to be able to grow and share with us,” said Robinson.

If you’d like to lend a hand – whether it be growing food for others or just donating money – you can visit the Harvest 2020 website.

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