May 12, 2011

Help keep your community hunger free

By Michael Johnson, Editor

For those lucky enough to have a garden, you know how great it is to have the freshest fruits and vegetables at your fingertips. A crisp carrot or peas that pop in your mouth are not only a nice addition to summer but provide important nutrients needed by everyone. It’s something that many can’t afford to get their hands on but it’s something that we all need to be healthy. The Hunger Free North Dakota Program is in its second year of gathering fresh fruits and vegetables from the area to disperse to those who can’t afford or readily gather it themselves. The program has a goal of gathering 500,000 pounds of fresh produce over the summer and distribute it out to North Dakota’s 244 food pantries, shelters and charitable organizations. Growers, farmers, charitable groups and individual gardeners are encouraged to plant some extra this year to donate to those in need. In 2010, the first year of the project, over 340,000 pounds was collected in the state and it was not publicized until after the planting season. This year, there is still time to plant some extra to donate. Last year, the produce delivered in Washburn was available for pickup by those in need at the McLean Family Resource Center.  “It really was a tremendously well received program,” Janell Olson, executive director of the McLean Family Resource Center, said.

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