Its 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 cant 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 its 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 email@example.com
You can dedicate a row of your garden to growing food for the hungry. 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 theyre 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on how to successfully grow plants under Colorado conditions is also available elsewhere on this webpage. See Vegetables & Fruits
The food provider agencies prefer quality produce like you do. Over-mature, soft and nearly-spoiled produce is of no use to them. Please dont 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Photos: Judy Sedbrook, Rebecca Talley
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010