Home gardeners may find themselves buried in vegetables from an overabundant garden harvest. UGA experts encourage home gardeners to donate their extra fruits and vegetables to the local food pantries in the Athens community.
Gardeners should first contact the local food pantry before donating their harvest. The pantry may have a preferred delivery date and time. Gardeners should harvest crops in the early morning on delivery day to take advantage of the cool air. They should then inspect each food item for bruising, insect damage and ripeness. Any item not fit for personal consumption should not be donated. If the pantry offers packing instructions, follow them. Otherwise, put items in supermarket bags.
Gardeners should donate any leftovers they have. The food will be aggregated with other donations. Gardeners also can get involved in the Plant a Row program. Part of the Garden Writers Association, Plant a Row has offered guidance on food donations for nearly 20 years. Visit gardenwriters.org to get involved.
For more information on donating locally, visit extension.uga.edu.