Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt
Brown County UW-Extension Margaret Franchino
(Brown County, Wis.) – Harvest season is underway, and Brown County’s UW-Extension and the Green Bay Packers are encouraging gardeners to donate a portion of their homegrown fresh produce to local food pantries through the Planting for a Purpose Program.
“I’m proud to highlight this partnership between our UW-Extension, the Packers and gardeners in our community which will help feed those in need here in Brown County,” says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. “This commitment to donate fresh, locally grown produce to help address food security and healthy choices in our community should inspire other places in Wisconsin and across the country to find ways to help our neighbor.”
Planting for a Purpose began in 2017 in response to reports from local pantries that there is a great and unmet need for fresh produce donations for clients. That year, pantries reported 13,814 pounds of donated produce. As of the beginning of August 2018, pantries and donors had reported over 4,500 pounds of donated produce since April, which is nearly double the amount donated at this point last year.
“The Packers are proud to continue working with UW-Extension to raise awareness of the need for fresh produce donations to local food pantries,” says Amanda Wery, Community Outreach Senior Coordinator for the Packers. “Gardeners who donate a portion of their harvest can help food pantries provide families in our area with reliable access to healthy food. Planting for a Purpose builds on our commitment to address the food security needs in our community, and we’re looking forward to seeing the program continue to grow and provide necessary hunger relief to those in need.”
“Recognizing the health disparities in low-income populations and the role that food plays, our food pantries are working together on a Healthy Food Initiative,” says Karen Early, Brown County Coordinator for UW-Extension’s FoodWIse. “The Planting for a Purpose Program is one way to increase donations of fresh food for those who may otherwise not have resources to purchase it.”
All local gardeners are encouraged to sign up for the program and pledge to donate a portion of their harvest to a local food pantry. A list of pantries and their preferred donation dates and times is listed at: browncountycommunitygardens.org . Anyone interested in participating can sign up at: tinyurl.com/plantingforapurpose