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DeKalb Extension: Don't Throw It Away!

Donate your extra harvest to a good cause.

According to a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article (“The toll of food waste globally”) an estimated 40 percent of edible food is thrown away by retailers and households. This is shocking! Remember your parents telling you to clear your dinner plate - there were starving children all over the world who need food. Well, it’s true - but remember “the world” includes Atlanta - and we can help!

Do you work at a community garden, or grow vegetables that you don’t use? Are you a gardener whose neighbors turn and run when they see you coming with those mounds of zucchini? Well, don’t waste them! When you are done with freezing, canning and all those other ways of preserving your favorite veggies, donate your extra harvest.

Atlanta Community Food Bank's Community Gardens project is asking backyard and community gardeners to participate in the national Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign by simply donating any extra harvest from your garden for families and individuals in need.  

Founded in 1979, the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) currently distributes nearly 2 million pounds of food and other donated grocery items each month to more than 700 nonprofit partner agencies in 38 counties in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. They have already registered more than 12,000 pounds of donated produce this season.  Their key contact is Fred Conrad at gardens@acfb.org, (404) 892-3333 Ext. 1216. Give him a call if you can help.

How Does Plant a Row Work? Participation is easy. Atlanta gardeners are encouraged to plant one extra row of veggies in their gardens and donate surplus produce directly to one of the designated drop-off sites throughout metro Atlanta. These agencies distribute food from your garden to the residents in your community who need and appreciate it the most. Many Plant a Row donations also come from gardeners who simply have extra vegetables they don’t want to see go to waste.

The only DeKalb site listed on the ACFB website is the , 500 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, Business : (404) 327-5820, Contact: Jon Milam, jmilam@umchildrenshome.org, Drop off is M-F 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

However, there are many other locations in DeKalb. The , one of our Master Gardener project sites, drops off their produce at the Stone Mountain Methodist Church Food Pantry, which is inspected by ACFB. They are delighted to be able to offer fresh, healthy produce to families in need. So far this year we have donated 134 pounds.

Another Master Gardener project site, the Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, has donated more than 90 pounds of vegetables and fruit so far this year to the Community Action Center in Sandy Springs (1130 Hightower Trail - 770-552-4015).

And I’m sure there are many food pantries around the county.  Contact the Atlanta Food Bank and see if they can suggest a pantry close to your home - or they might help you set up a new one. Let’s not waste good food!

Questions for us? Email abonsall@dekalbcountyga.gov.

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