MANDAN – Attendees at the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association (NDFMGA) & Local Foods Conference held today learned that the Hunger Free ND Garden Project has recorded volunteer donations of more than 3.1 million pounds of fresh produce to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charitable community programs since the program started in 2010.
“In ten seasons, North Dakota growers have donated more than 3.1 million pounds of produce to help address the issue of food insecurity in our state,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “It is a vital partnership between those who have produce to share and those who receive it.”
The Hunger Free ND Garden Project was started by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) in partnership with the Great Plains Food Bank and ten other organizations across the state. The statewide project encourages home gardeners and commercial growers to plant extra produce each year for donation to charitable organizations across the state and in their hometown.
“The 2019 growing year alone brought in nearly 300,000 pounds of produce,” Goehring said. “Thanks to the growers, volunteers and community support, donations continue to come in for those most in need.”
Other partners in the project include: NDSU Extension, NDSU Master Gardeners, North Dakota FFA, Dakota College at Bottineau ~ Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture, Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society, the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, Healthy North Dakota, Creating a Hunger Free ND Coalition, and Pride of Dakota.