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Last Chance To Share The Harvest

Kara Seymour
Newtown Patch

It’s your last chance to share the harvest.

Philabundance is holding its final two collection days for the season’s Share the Harvest program.

Since July, the program has given area gardeners a convenient way to donate surplus vegetables to those in need. Each Saturday over the summer, volunteers from Philabundance, a hunger relief organization serving the Delaware Valley, have collected produce donations at 11 drop off locations. The program wraps up Sept. 24.

If you have surplus vegetables to donate to the effort, then stop by one of two local Share the Harvest drop off sites: Carousel Gardens, 591 Durham Rd., and Seasons Garden Center, 1069 River Rd., Washington Crossing. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. this Saturday and Sept. 24.

The donated produce goes to help feed the hungry in five area counties, including Bucks.

Lindsay Bues, a spokesperson for Philabundance, said the organization’s goal this year is to collect 10,000 pounds of produce through the program. So far, Bues said gardeners have generously donated more than 8,000 pounds to Share the Harvest. Bues added the organization hopes to reach its goal over the next two weeks.

Last year, gardeners donated 7,600 pounds of produce through the Share the Harvest program, which began in 1993.

Now, more than ever, Philabundance says it needs your support.

According to the organization, rising food and gas prices have compounded to drive up the cost of produce and decrease the amount donated to the organization by suppliers. Produce donations in 2010 were down by 7 percent compared to 2009 donations, the organization said.

“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,” the organization said in a statement.

According to a USDA report released in late 2010, the tough economy left more than 50 million Americans struggling to feed their families.

Philabundance said it 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.

In addition to the two Share the Harvest drop-off sites in the Newtown area, there are several others in the Delaware Valley. For a full list or more information, visit www.philabundance.org.

Philabundance provides services to nearly 500 member agencies in nine counties, including Bucks. In total, those organizations serve approximately 65,000 people per week at an aggregate cost of 50 cents per meal. According to the organization, there are more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. In 2010, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food.

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