Denver Master Gardener's PAR garden (14588 bytes)

Plant A Row for the Hungry (PAR)



What PAR is about
How you can help – sharing your harvest
Garden Harvest Rewards are More than Good Eating
Harvest tips
Locations of food pantries/meal-serving agencies
Participating garden centers


What PAR is about

It’s simple really. Gardeners have a bountiful harvest and there are hungry people in the Denver community to share it with.

Gardeners tend to be generous people. They are happy to share produce with next door neighbors. Many times they may not know where else in the community they can share produce that will do the most good. Connecting gardeners with food provider agencies is what this webpage and PAR is all about. (See food provider locations section for where to donate produce.)

The need is great. Did you know that Denver ranks near the bottom of Colorado counties (61 0f 63) in having the greatest number of schoolchildren in the school lunch program – 54% qualify? It is estimated that 7,000 households in Denver experience food insecurity with hunger. Many of these people are the so-called "working poor" that have jobs and still can’t provide both the shelter and food their family needs.

The great thing is that food gardeners can make a difference in their community through PAR. Whether it’s apples from your tree, tomatoes, green beans or fresh herbs from your garden, all edible produce is needed. No flowers, please.

Nutritionally, fresh garden produce adds needed vitamins and minerals to the canned and dry staples available at many food pantries and meal serving agencies. Besides nutrition, the great taste of homegrown produce is bound to lift the spirits of anyone who eats them!

As an incentive for gardeners participating in PAR, a plastic row marker with the attractive PAR logo will be mailed to all phoning or sending an e-mail to inquire about food sharing. Contact us at (720) 913-5278 or e-mail us at

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How you can help – sharing your harvest

You can dedicate a row of your garden to growing food for the hungry. rebecca with first harvest from MG par garden (10038 bytes)Then you can feel good about doing your part for community when you deliver it to a food provider agency. All the details of where and when are listed in the section on "Locations of food pantries/meal-serving agencies."

PAR can be a great way to introduce children to the idea of doing something for others in the community. They can plant and tend the garden with a PAR row marker that we will provide to remind them of why they’re hoeing weeds! Then they can harvest the produce and go along with you to deliver it to a food providing agency. What a great summer project that children of any age can do from home.

Is your church or youth group looking for a community service project? What about starting a garden dedicated to PAR?

Contact the Master Gardeners at the Denver Cooperative Extension office for help on how to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. Phone (720) 913-5278 or e-mail us at Information on how to successfully grow plants under Colorado conditions is also available elsewhere on this webpage. See Vegetables & Fruits

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Harvest tips

harvested vegetables (3732 bytes) The food provider agencies prefer quality produce like you do. Over-mature, soft and nearly-spoiled produce is of no use to them. Please don’t deliver huge zucchinis or other over-mature vegetables, and produce that has gone by. For tips on how to determine the proper stage to harvest garden vegetables and fruits, contact the Master Gardener. Phone (720) 913-5278 or e-mail us at

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Locations of food pantries/meal-serving agencies

The interfaith taskforce food bank: tubs of donated food for distribution to the hungry (7296 bytes)Most of these food providing agencies will furnish a PAR receipt for tax donation purposes when you deliver garden produce. A current suggested valuation for produce is $1.48 per pound.

Find an agency in your preferred quadrant of Denver:





Food provider: Adventist Community Services

Phone: (303) 935-7389

Food needed: All types of homegrown vegetables and fruits.

Times available to accept donations:  The preferred days to receive produce are Monday and Thursday, 9:30 to 3:00; Friday, 8:00 to 3:30; Tuesday, 8:00 to 6:00 and Wednesday 8:00 to Noon.  Please ring the door bell.

Address: 5045 West 1st Avenue, Denver, CO 80219.

Directions:  Travel 6th Avenue to Sheridan, south on Sheridan to 1st Avenue, East on 1st Avenue 1 block. The building is on the north side of 1st Avenue. Park on the street or in one of the parking lots on either side of the building. If you find the doors locked during business hours, please ring the doorbell.

Other information/ comments:  The organization provides 300-350 food boxes per month.

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Food provider: Volunteers of America

Phone: (303) 295-2165

Food needed: All fresh foods and vegetables are welcome. Soup ingredients are particularly needed.

Times available to accept donations: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Address: 2877 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80203.

Directions: Building and parking lot is on the corner of 29th and Lawrence. From Colfax, drive north on Broadway to Lawrence. Look for the sign, "Volunteers of America." Facility is just north of downtown. Lawrence is one way going north; the VOA building is on the west side of the street. Park in the lot in back or on the street. Enter through front door.

Other information/ comments: The soup kitchen serves 125 - 150 meals daily. In addition, they distribute 100 - 120 food boxes per month to people in need.

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Food provider: Inter Faith Taskforce


Food needed: All types of homegrown vegetables and fruits are welcome. Please phone ahead if you have large quantities.

Times available to accept donations: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (except holidays). Tuesday - 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Address: 3370 S. Irving St., Englewood

Phone: (303) 789-0501

Directions: Hampden to Federal, north on Federal for 3 blocks to Girard, west on Girard to Irving, north on Irving 1/2 block to big, white building on the east side of the street. The parking lot is in front of the building.

Other information/ comments: They serve 700-900 households per month during the summer. Food orders of non-perishable goods are made up and distributed to families of the working poor in western Arapahoe County.

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Food provider: Food Bank of the Rockies

Phone: (303) 371-9250

Food needed: Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs (no flowers).

Times available to accept donations: Monday thru Friday (except holidays), 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Address: 10975 E. 47th Ave., Denver, CO 80239.

Directions: Take I-70 and exit on Havana. Take Havana north to 47th Avenue. Go east on 47th Avenue two blocks to Joliet. Parking on the northeast corner of 47th and Joliet. Enter through the garage doors when dropping off food.

Other information/comments: Work with 850 non-profit agencies that serve the hungry both through food pantries and with prepared meals. Please, no over-mature produce.

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The Denver Cooperative Extension office Master Gardener helpline can connect you with additional food pantries and meal-serving agencies in the Denver Metro area. These agencies may not provide the donation receipts that the partners listed above do. Be sure to phone ahead for agency hours and other particulars. Phone the Master Gardener helpline at (720) 913-5289 or email us at:

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Participating garden centers

par row marker (3235 bytes)Organized through the Garden Centers of Colorado, Paula Yantorno, PAR project coordinator. Garden centers provide PAR packets that include a PAR row marker and food provider agency information.

Arapahoe Acres Nursery  
9010 S. Sante Fe Drive  
Littleton, CO 80125 
(303) 791-1660
Bonsai Nursery
3750 S. Federal
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 761-3066
City Floral Garden Center/Greenhouse   
1440 Kearney St.                                            
Denver, CO 80220  
(303) 399-1177
Country Fair Garden Center
2190 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 767-4949
Dardano’s Flowerland
1205 W. Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 934-5646
Echter’s Greenhouse & Gardens
9170 W. 52nd Ave.
Arvada, CO 80002
(303) 424-7979
Groundcovers Greenhouse/ Nursery
4301 E. Iliff Ave.
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 758-8957
Jared’s Nursery & Garden Center
10500 W. Bowles Ave.
Littleton, CO 80127 
(303) 979-6022
Nick’s Garden Center
2001 S. Chambers Rd.
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 696-6657
Tagawa Garden Center & Florist
711 S. Parker Rd.
Aurora, CO 80016
(303) 690-4722
Welby Garden Center  
2761 E. 74th Ave.
Denver, CO 80229
(303) 287-0365
W.W. Wilmore Nurseries/Garden Center
711 E. County Line Rd.
Littleton, CO 80126  
303) 795-5339

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Locally, the Denver office of Colorado State University Cooperative Extension is working closely with our associated Denver Master Gardener Association to build the partnerships that will make Plant A Row a success.

We are appreciative of our food provider agencies for handling receipts for donors so we can track the effectiveness of our efforts. Thanks to the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post and Channel 9 News for publicity. The Denver Urban Gardens provides community gardens throughout the Metro area and has organized communities in many ways including in fighting hunger. Several Denver community gardens have issued challenges to other gardens to produce food for the hungry. Thanks also to the garden centers participating in PAR for providing PAR packets and publicity. Click on our partners’ logos below for more information about them.

Nationally, Plant A Row for the Hungry is a public service campaign of the Garden Writers Association of America. Its goal is to help feed the hungry by establishing PAR networks in communities across North America. Home & Garden Television is the national media sponsor. Additional corporate support is provided by The Scotts Company, the National Garden Bureau and Fafard, Inc.

link to Denver Urban Gardens (2667 bytes)

link to garden centers of colorado (3242 bytes)

nine news link (1591 bytes)

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Photos: Judy Sedbrook, Rebecca Talley

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CSU/Denver County  Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue,  Denver, CO 80210
(720) 913-5278


Date last revised: 01/05/2010