Central Sierra
University of California
Central Sierra

Plant a Row for the Hungry

Thank You for Your Interest in Donating Your Extra Produce.

Plant a Row for the Hungry is a people-helping-people program to feed the hungry in communities across the country. This national service project, started by the Garden Writers Association Foundation in 1995, encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate it to local food agencies. Since 1995, American gardeners have donated over 16 million pounds of herbs and vegetables to feed the hungry in our local neighborhoods and communities. Read more about Plant a Row for the Hungry at http://www.gardenwriters.org.  If you’d like to know more about how you can support this worthwhile effort, check out their local Plant a Row for the Hungry website.

How to Participate:

Each of our four counties has its own way of providing extra produce for the less fortunate in their communities. The links or contact information for each county are shown below. Whenever you have fresh produce to donate, contact a donation site in your county for drop-off days and times.

  • Amador County: Interfaith Food Bank
  • El Dorado County: Plant a Row El Dorado County
  • Calaveras County: Human Resource Council Food Bank, San Andreas, (209) 754-1257
  • Tuolumne County: Amador/Tuolumne Community Action Agency Food Bank, Sonora, (209) 984-3960

Have more questions?

This Michigan State Extension article addresses many of the key points you’ll need to know.

Eight Tips for Donating Fresh Produce to Food Pantries

  • It is important to check with the food bank or pantry before delivering any produce. Find out if they accept produce at their site and if they do, ask if they need the type of produce you have to donate.
  • Always handle the fresh fruits and vegetables safely to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. For example, don’t harvest when you are sick and always wash your hands before harvesting
  • Offer only high quality, freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not donate fruits and vegetables that are overripe, have mold, bruising, spoilage or insect damage.
  • If you use pesticides in your garden, always read and follow the label instructions.
  • Harvest produce early in the morning.
  • Wipe as much mud and dirt as possible off of the produce but do not rinse the produce. Rinsing the produce takes off some of the natural protective coating and will cause the produce to spoil sooner than if it wasn’t rinsed.
  • Do not mix different kinds of produce. For example, don’t put cucumbers in the same clean, food grade container as green beans. For example, you might have bags of 4 different kinds of veggies that you put in one large box.
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