New Jersey-based America’s Grow-a-Row’s mission is to help those in need through a volunteer effort of planting, picking and delivering fresh produce via a unique model that: heightens awareness of socio-economic issues, highlights the importance of local farms and inspires volunteers across many generations and skill sets. Inspired by the efforts of a single volunteer in 2004 and made possible with the support of Peaceful Valley Orchards, Grow-a-Row was formed in 2005 and has expanded into a volunteer network that generates nearly 150,000 pounds (and growing!) of produce to local food banks each year.
Grow-a-Row connects kids and families with healthy food in two ways. By offering kids and families the opportunity to volunteer with the organization at local farms and at food banks, they learn about where their food comes from, as well as about hunger and nutrition. Second, kids and families who receive Grow-a-Row’s donated produce at food banks are exposed to healthy, fresh produce and are able to incoporate it into their meals, sometimes for the first time.
To learn how you can participate in America’s Grow-a-Row or to find inspiration to start a similar program in your area, visit their website.