Plant.Grow.Share. Needs You to Bring Fresh Produce to Your Local Food PantryJune 1, 2019
We depend on the generosity of the community and our local gardeners to bring fresh produce to our food pantries to make the Plant.Grow.Share. program successful. No donation is too small, so please bring fresh produce to the Weymouth Food Pantry and the Pantry Shelf at Interfaith Social Services. If your garden harvest isn’t ready yet, even store-bought vegetables are more than welcome.
“The weather this spring unfortunately has not been as cooperative in previous years, and we hope that the rain and cooler temperatures will not impact people’s gardens, the harvest or their desire to grow produce for their hungry neighbors in need,” said Rick Doane, Executive Director at Interfaith Social Services. “We hope that everyone knows that this is about more than just growing fresh produce—it is about the need for fresh fruits and vegetables at all emergency food programs. We hope that everyone will purchase some extra apples and oranges at the supermarket and other fruits and vegetables when there are sales or when they are feeling charitable and donate them to local food pantries. Our clients will greatly appreciate it.”
Plant.Grow.Share. is an initiative to provide fresh and healthy food to our local food pantries and to encourage local gardeners to help feed the hungry in our community. It is a collaboration between Keohane Funeral Homes, the Weymouth Food Pantry and Interfaith Social Services.
FREE Tomato Container Garden Workshops Well Attended
This spring, Plant.Grow.Share. teamed up with farmer Jon Belber of Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset to provide free gardening workshops open to the community in Weymouth, South Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy. Participants walked away with free tomato seedlings, a bucket container and the knowledge to grow their tomatoes to yield the best crop.
The Tomato Container Garden Workshop in Quincy had more than ninety people attend! “We have never had that many participants. We are so excited to have so many people from the community learn about organic gardening and the need that emergency food programs experience for fresh produce. And we are excited to see donations come in from the community as the season progresses,” said Doane.
At harvest time, gardeners can enjoy their tomatoes at home and then donate a portion to their local food pantries. Organic tomato seedlings from Holly Hill farm were donated by Keohane Funeral Home and buckets were donated by Curry Ace Hardware.
Grow a Row to Share
Keohane made it easy to participate in Plant.Grow.Share. by donating seedlings to backyard gardeners and food pantry patrons. Vegetable seedlings from the Artery Garden Center were available free of charge during the week of May 20 at Keohane Funeral Home; McDonald Keohane Funeral; Interfaith Social Services and the Weymouth Food Pantry Pop-up locations.
“The seedling distribution in May went well. Dozens of community members came in and took home seedlings after committing to donate some of the produce back to our food pantry,” said Doane.
If you did not have the opportunity to pick up seedlings during the week of May 20, donations of any extra produce throughout the growing season will be gratefully accepted at either Keohane or directly to either of the community food pantries.
For those who would like to help in other ways besides gardening, the food pantries are also happy to receive donations of fresh store-bought produce.
Neighbors in Need Appreciate Your Donations
Our local food pantries are always trying to provide compassionate and thoughtful service to their clients. As such, Interfaith Social Services periodically conducts surveys to find out how their clients are feeling; what has brought them to their program; and how they feel about the food they receive.
“We have just concluded a survey and one of the overwhelming responses that we received from our clients was their gratitude for the fresh produce that they receive through our program and the desire to see more fresh produce. Plant.Grow.Share. isn’t just a nice idea—it is something that our hungry neighbors in need are asking for,” said Doane. “We are so grateful for the community’s help in making this program possible.”
How You Can Help
For those who would like to help, the food pantries are happy to receive donations of both home-grown produce and fresh store-bought produce.
Donations of fresh produce from your garden or supermarket for Interfaith Social Services can be dropped off at 105 Adams Street in Quincy from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Donations of fresh produce for the Weymouth Food Pantry are accepted at all three Pop Up Pantry locations or at their warehouse:
Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11:00 AM at The First Church at 17 Church Street, Weymouth
Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:00 AM at Crossroads Worship Center at 241 Broad Street, Weymouth
Saturdays, 9:30 to 11:00 AM at Old South Union Church at 25 Columbian Street, S. Weymouth
Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 40B Reservoir Park Drive, Rockland
Monetary donations are also always welcomed. Donations to the Plant.Grow.Share. program can be made online at interfaithsocialservices.org/donate.
“We’re proud to be a partner of the Plant.Grow.Share. program,” said John Keohane, Co-president for Keohane Funeral Homes. “Just planting an extra row of vegetables in your garden to share with our local food pantries can make a huge difference for our community.”
For questions or to volunteer for the Plant.Grow.Share. program, please contact: Rick Doane, Executive Director of Interfaith Social Services, (617) 773-6203; Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning at Keohane Funeral Home, (617) 773-3551; or The Weymouth Food Pantry, (781) 331-7682, [email protected].