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Philabundance Kicks off Share the Harvest July 7th

All produce donated through Share the Harvest will go directly to an agency in the community

Philadelphia, Pa. – June 28, 2012 – Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, is gearing up for the annual Share the Harvest program. Philabundance is asking gardeners to donate their extra produce to help neighbors in need. Gardeners who have not planted yet are encouraged to sow an extra row dedicated to donating to help their neighbors who cannot afford fresh produce.

Share the Harvest encourages home gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables or collect any surplus produce from their harvest and donate to Philabundance to fight hunger in the Delaware Valley. From July 7th through Sept. 22rd, 2012, Philabundance will accept produce donations on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 11 locations throughout the Delaware Valley (see list of drop-off sites below). Each week the produce collected from local gardeners will go to nearby food pantries in the community of the site.

92.5 XTU, Philadelphia’s country music station, is partnering with Philabundance for the 6th year in a row and has committed to a summer-long effort to encourage people to share their garden with their neighbors in need.

In the past few years, Philabundance has been forced to purchase fruits and vegetables when they are not receiving enough donated product. The increasing fuel prices are driving up the cost of shipping and handling fees making it very expensive to purchase food and an unlikely option for Philabundance this year. Share the Harvest is more important than ever before because buying produce if donations drop is not an option this year. In addition, the USDA is reporting that U.S. consumers will pay 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent more for food in 2012 compared to 2011.

Philabundance and the agencies they serve experienced a 26 percent increase in need compared to last year. On a nationwide scale, the USDA’s Food Hardship Study released in late 2011 is reporting that the tough economy saw more than 48.8 million Americans struggle to get enough food to eat in 2010, causing a greater strain on hunger relief organizations across the country.

Philabundance believes everyone should have access to fresh healthy foods. 42 percent of all food they distribute is produce. They hope Share the Harvest 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 more than 9,600 pounds of produce through the Share the Harvest program.

Share the Harvest, established in 1993, is based on the “victory gardens” concept, where residents planted home gardens in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom during World Wars I and II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort.

Share the Harvest drop-off sites include the locations below, and more locations may be added. For more information, visit www.philabundance.org.

Philadelphia County:
Laurel Hill Gardens, 8125 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia

Bucks County:
Carousel Gardens, 591 Durham Rd., Newtown
Seasons Garden Center, 1069 River Rd., PO Box 20 Washington Crossing

Chester County:
Gardner’s Landscape Nursery, 535 W. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs

Delaware County:
Rose Tree Park, 1671 N. Providence Rd., Media
Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media

Montgomery County:
Albrecht’s Garden Center Nursery, 650 Montgomery Ave., Narberth
St. Asaphs, 27 Conshohocken State Rd., Bala Cynwyd,
Rhoads Garden, 570 DeKalb Pike, North Wales
Primex Garden Center, 435 West Glenside Ave., Glenside

Camden County: Springdale Farms, 1638 S. Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ

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About Philabundance
Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need in partnership with organizations and individuals. Philabundance provides a full plate of services through direct service programs and a network of close to 500 member agencies in 9 counties. Philabundance serves approximately 65,000 people per week at a cost of 50 cents per meal. 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. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900. Visit us on Facebook, Facebook.com/Philabundance and follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/Philabundance. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please call Philabundance’s Food Help Line, 800-319-Food (3663).

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