Share garden bounty

Gardeners invited to share excess bounty with food pantry

Do you have zucchini coming out of your ears? More tomatoes than you know what to do with? At this time of year many gardeners face the wonderful problem of too much bounty from their gardens—but no one wants to see good produce go to waste.

Nebraska Extension’s CHOW (Cultivating Health Our Way) program has a solution.

This summer, the CHOW program and the Ever Green House in Gering have partnered to supply the food pantry at the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska (CAPWN) with fresh produce. Vegetables are grown in a donation garden at the Ever Green House with the help of volunteers, Extension Master Gardeners, and the SNAP-Ed program of Scotts Bluff and Morrill Counties, and then delivered to the food pantry.

Now, the partnership is inviting gardeners from all over the area to join in by dropping off quality produce that is simply more than they can use. The CHOW program will deliver the produce to the CAPWN food pantry.

“Produce is an important source of vitamins but can be hard to come by at food pantries because of the shorter shelf life and difficulty of transporting it from major food banks,” said Erin Kampbell, SNAP-Ed Assistant at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. “By providing locally grown produce to food pantries, families in a tough spot can still include vegetables in their diet.”

The opportunity to donate abundant produce is great for gardeners, too, Kampbell said. Dropping off extras at the Ever Green House is a way to make sure quality produce that might otherwise spoil or get thrown away is used and enjoyed.

Produce of good quality can be delivered to the Ever Green House at Overland Trail Road and D Street in Gering from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays through September.