Gardeners’ surplus can help others

Levittown — Established in 1993, Share the Harvest reflects the “Victory Gardens” concept from World Wars I and II to supplement the nation’s food supply.

Approximately 900,000 residents in the Philadelphia area face the risk of hunger or malnutrition. But this summer, local gardeners have a chance to help.

Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, will host its 17th annual Share the Harvest program beginning Friday. The initiative supplies fresh fruits and vegetables to a variety of facilities ranging from food cupboards to day care centers to Salvation Army branches, said Marlo DelSordo, director of marketing and communications.

Larger-scale produce donations to Philabundance are down 45 percent this year due to the rise in fuel prices, a harsh winter in the South and the recent earthquake in Chile. All of these factors contributed to the increased cost of produce. Higher costs reduced the amount that regular suppliers contributed, which Philabundance says makes individual donations through Share the Harvest particularly important now.

How does it work? It’s simple: gardeners can contribute surplus fruits and vegetables – any type and any quantity – at 11 drop-off sites throughout the Delaware Valley.

From Friday through Sep. 25, Bucks County residents can donate every Friday and Saturday at Carousel Gardens at 591 Durham Road in Wrightstown, or Seasons Garden Center at 1069 River Road in the Washington Crossing section of Upper Makefield.

Established in 1993, Share the Harvest reflects the “Victory Gardens” concept from World Wars I and II, when U.S., Canadian and United Kingdom residents planted gardens to contribute to the strained public food supply. The program aims to fight hunger and provide fresh produce to those who can’t afford it.

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