How Gardens are Providing Fresh Produce to People in Need

This summer, you can help provide fresh fruits and vegetables to struggling families.

August 15, 2017
by Allison Weber

Did you know that gardens across America are supplying fresh, locally grown food to people facing hunger, thanks to Feeding America food banks? Below are just two ways that food banks are nourishing struggling families with gardens full of wholesome food. Find your local food bank to learn more about how you can help your community.


Central Texas Food Bank recently opened a new Learning Garden that provides fresh, organic produce to people in need with support from volunteers. The garden includes a greenhouse, fruit trees and themed gardens — including a MyPlate garden that grows produce from four of the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. This fall, the food bank will also provide gardening education to low-income people and local hunger-relief nonprofits in the Learning Garden. By leveraging the garden as an educational tool, the food bank hopes to encourage more people and organizations to start gardens that help feed families in need. Members of the community are invited to volunteer in the Learning Garden by helping to plant seed and seedlings, pull weeds, harvest produce and cultivate the garden beds.

Food Bank for Larimer County invites locals to donate fresh produce from their own gardens to the food bank through the Plant It Forward Program. The program is a partnership between the food bank and The Gardens on Spring Creek, a local botanical garden, to help promote sustainable gardening and deliver nutritious food to families in need. Last year, home gardeners, businesses and institutions in Fort Collins, Colorado helped provide more than 50,000 pounds of fresh produce to people facing hunger through the program. Many members of the community have eagerly and generously participated, including a local gardener named Dr. J, who dedicates a third of his backyard to Plant It Forward, donating thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables on his own each year.


During this season of abundance, food banks are providing vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and so much more to people facing hunger. But they need your help to ensure that a growing number of struggling households get the healthy meals they need. Reach out to your local food bank to learn how you can make a difference in your hometown.

*Photos provided courtesy of Food Bank for Larimer County, The Gardens on Spring Creek and Central Texas Food Bank.