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Editorial: Share the Harvest of your garden with Philabundance

Published by Montgomery News

With the arrival of spring, we know many residents are — or soon will be — preparing their gardens for the season.

Gardening offers the opportunity to spend some time outside while enhancing the environment around your home. If you plant your own vegetables, you have the added reward of being able to literally harvest the fruits of your labor.

An area program is offering the chance to have your garden benefit others.

Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, is holding the annual Share the Harvest program. During the planting season, Philabundance is asking gardeners to sow an extra row dedicated to donating to help their neighbors in need.

Share the Harvest 2011 is a program that encourages home gardeners to grow extra vegetables or collect any surplus vegetables from their harvest and donate to Philabundance to fight hunger in the Delaware Valley.

From July 9 through Sept. 24, Philabundance will accept produce donations on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at locations throughout the Delaware Valley.

Rising food and gas prices have compounded to drive up the cost of produce and decrease the amount donated to Philabundance by suppliers. Produce donations in 2010 were down by 7 percent compared to 2009 donations. As a result, Philabundance must substitute with more dry goods, of which donations are also down, adding to the challenge of meeting the increased demand for food aid in the region.

Philabundance hopes that the grow-your-own movement will inspire gardeners to help fight hunger and increase the access for those in need of fresh produce, as it is the first thing cut from the grocery list when money is tight. Last year, gardeners donated 7,600 pounds of produce through the Share the Harvest program.

Share the Harvest drop-off sites include the following area locations, and more locations may be added: Albrecht’s Garden Center Nursery, 650 Montgomery Ave., Narberth; St. Asaphs, 27 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd; Rhoads Garden, 570 DeKalb Pike, North Wales; and Primex Garden Center, 435 W. Glenside Ave., Glenside.

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