STARTING A PLANT A ROW • GROW A ROW CAMPAIGN IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Plant a Row • Grow a Row has a number of objectives:
To support the continued development of a positive and lasting relationship between the community and its food banks and soup kitchens
To encourage our communities to plant, grow and harvest an extra row of specific vegetables for local food banks and soup kitchens
To ensure that the produce is delivered to the food banks at specified local drop-off locations and times
To have the food distribution agencies weigh and record the weight of total donations to provide some measure of success
To enlist the support of master gardeners, home gardeners, garden clubs, youth groups, seniors, schools, churches, local growers, community gardens and the media.
In each community, a committee should be formed to organize this effort. The committee needs a chairperson and a food bank representative to coordinate and guide the initiative, a media person for promotion, and where possible, a master gardener, a garden club representative, a local service club representative and, if possible, municipal representatives and local celebrities.
The committee mandate should be to create awareness of the program, why it's needed, how to participate and where and when to deliver the food donations. The food bank should provide guidance as to the type of fresh produce most desired by them. Local commercial growers should also be encouraged to participate.
The campaign should have an official launch, continual promotion and reminders to bring in their food donations as well as a closing date. It is important that the food bank, often staffed by volunteers, accept the food graciously and weigh it in.
When the campaign has finished for the year, a celebration should be held to give thanks to all those who participated. Goals should also be set for next year's efforts.
Please advise the national coordinators of your intent to begin a Plant a Row • Grow a Row campaign in your community. You can reach them by calling 1-877-571-GROW(4769). In addition to keeping in touch throughout the growing season, you can also communicate any concerns or difficulties to them as well as advising of your total poundage donations for inclusion in the national figures.