Prepping a Summer Garden? Save Some Room for Philabundance
By Shannon Collins
If you tend to get overrun with fresh food from your summer garden, avoid the waste of letting tomatoes go bad in the fridge and donate your excess produce to Philabundance for their “Share the Harvest” program.
About the Program
From July 7 through September 23, 2012, Philabundance will be accepting produce donations on Saturdays from 10am to noon at 11 locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Each week, volunteers will take the donated produce to area food pantries in their community that are Philabundance agencies.
In 2011, gardeners donated more than 9,600 pounds of produce through the “Share the Harvest” program.
The Need for More Produce
In the past few years, Philabundance was forced to purchase fruits and vegetables when they weren’t receiving enough donated products. However, the combination of increasing fuel prices with the cost of shipping and handling, makes it too expensive to purchase produce and is “an unlikely option for Philabundance this year,” according to the nonprofit. In addition, the USDA reported that U.S. consumers will pay 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent more for food in 2012 compared to 2011.
This year, Philabundance, and the agencies they serve, experienced a 26-percent increase in need compared to last year. In 2010, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food, however the need is still great. On a nationwide scale, the USDA’s Food Hardship Study released in late 2011 reported 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 like Philabundance.
While many food pantries rarely have fresh produce to offer their clients, Philabundance believes everyone should have access to fresh healthy foods–which is why produce makes up 42% of their distributed food as of right now.
A Little History
Established in 1993, “Share the Harvest” 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.
Deliver Your Harvest
Whether you grow an extra row, dig up your entire yard, or organize a collective donation from your community garden, any durable garden vegetable or clean fruits can be put to good use.
Drop-off sites include the locations below, with more sites to potentially be added:
• Laurel Hill Gardens, 8125 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia
• Carousel Gardens, 591 Durham Rd., Newtown
• Seasons Garden Center, 1069 River Rd., PO Box 20 Washington Crossing
• Gardner’s Landscape Nursery, 535 W. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs
• Rose Tree Park, 1671 N. Providence Rd., Media
• Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media
• 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
• Springdale Farms, 1638 S. Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ