BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is urging growers across the state to donate extra fruits and vegetables from their harvest this year to help meet the needs of hungry North Dakotans as part of the Hunger Free ND Garden Project, which is marking its 11th year.
“Sadly, in a state that produces so much food, hunger is a problem here,” Goehring said. “We appreciate all the donations that have been given so far this season and welcome additional donations to help us reach our goal of at least two million servings of fresh produce to North Dakota food pantries, shelters and charitable feeding organizations.”
Goehring said information about the Hunger Free ND Garden Project, including a map of drop-off points for produce is available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website’s Hunger Free ND Garden Project page or by contacting the department at (701) 328-2231, 800-242-7535 or email@example.com.
“Anyone from backyard gardeners to farmers market vendors to large-scale vegetable growers who grow vegetables and fruits can help out,” Goehring said. “If your local food pantry is not currently on the list, please ask them to consider accepting fresh produce.”
Food pantries that want to be added to the list may contact Kristine Kostuck, local foods marketing specialist, at 701-328-2659 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or may visit https://www.nd.gov/ndda/produce-donation-sites.
The Hunger Free ND Garden Project has recorded volunteer donations of more than 3.4 million pounds of fresh produce to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charitable community programs since the program started in 2010.
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.
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.