Share your veggies

Posted on August 26, 2011


Last year I added a Serrano pepper plant to my small vegetable garden. The seedling was teeny and on sale at the end of the planting season. I was hoping for a pepper or two to use in salsa.

A few weeks later, I had about a dozen peppers. And they just kept coming, each harvest bigger than the last. In total, we picked 700 peppers from one plant. (Really. I counted.)

I gave peppers to friends and neighbors. Took them to church, brought them to work. One friend dubbed me “the lady with peppers in her pockets” because I brought them everywhere.

But 700 is a LOT of peppers. What could I do with my crazy surplus? People’s Resource Center (PRC) had the answer. Like most food pantries, PRC loves having fresh produce to share with clients.

A recent PRC newsletter article, “Watch our Gardens Grow”, gives examples of local gardens that are helping others. For example Vacant 2 Vegetables donated hundreds of pounds of produce last year, including 548 pounds of its top crop — tomatoes. Fresh fruits and vegetables are particularly valuable during the summer months, a tough time for food pantries.

The Tellabs Foundation has supported PRC several times, most recently with a grant to upgrade its technology. After getting to know PRC’s good work over the years, I was glad to make a small, peppery contribution of my own.

So, if it’s a good year for veggies in your garden, consider sharing your extra produce with a local food pantry.

(Not sure where to start? Try Feeding America’s food bank locator and contact the agency nearest you.)