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Fort Collins, CO – May 28, 2014 – Plant It Forward, a joint partnership between the Gardens on Spring Creek and the Food Bank for Larimer County, is asking home gardeners to plant, grow, and share some of their fresh produce with community members in need. One in ten Larimer County residents receives food from the Food Bank’s fresh food pantry, with the majority of those being seniors, families with young children and single parent households.
“The goal of Plant it Forward is to make it easy for local residents to donate fresh, home grown produce to the Food Bank so that families in need have access to healthy food,” said Susan Kelly, Food Resources Manager, Food Bank for Larimer County.
Providing nutritious food, particularly fruits and vegetables, is a top priority at the Food Bank. While eating healthy seems easy, it’s difficult for many in the community to make nutrition a priority when the bigger concern is just simply having something to eat. According to a recent survey of Food Bank clients, nearly 90% would eat less than three servings of fruits and vegetables per day if they didn’t have access to the Food Share pantry. Donations from the Plant It Forward program meet an important dietary need for nearly 30,000 Larimer County residents.
“Our goal is to have 50% of the food that we provide to our clients be fresh fruits and vegetables,” stated Kelly, “We are very close, but we need the community’s help in getting there. With the help of local gardeners, we are able to distribute the most nutritious foods to those in need throughout the growing season.”
Neighborhood Champions Make Donating Even Easier
New this year, Plant It Forward has recruited neighborhood champions who have volunteered their homes or places of business as drop off locations so that those who cannot make it to The Gardens or the Food Bank will still be able to donate. Neighborhood champions received identifying yard signs and designated collection bins to make donating easy. To find a neighborhood champion location, gardeners can visit the Plant It Forward website, www.plantitforwardnoco.org.
“Planting season is the perfect time for Fort Collins gardeners to commit to helping our neighbors in need,” explains Michelle Provaznik, Director, Gardens on Spring Creek. “Everyone can make a difference in the fight against hunger and gardeners can play a special role by planting extra in their gardens; no donation is too small.”
About Plant It Forward
Plant It Forward is a joint effort between the Food Bank and Gardens on Spring Creek. Started in 2011, the program asks backyard gardeners to “plant an extra row” of produce to donate to the Food Bank to help feed neighbors in need. In 2013, the program yielded 11,707 pounds of fresh produce. This year’s goal is 15,000 pounds.
No donation is too small. The Food Bank for Larimer County will accept fresh produce donations Monday-Friday from 8 am - 4 pm and the Gardens on Spring Creek will accept produce donations on Saturdays from 9 am - 4 pm and Sundays noon - 5 pm. All of the donated fresh produce will be distributed at the Food Bank to Larimer County to residents who are food insecure.
To learn more about Plant It Forward, visit www.plantitforwardnoco.org.
About the Food Bank for Larimer County:
The Food Bank for Larimer County provides food to all in need through community partnerships and hunger relief programs. Over the last five years, the Food Bank has nearly doubled its fresh produce distribution. In 2013, the Food Bank distributed nearly 3 million pounds of fresh produce; nearly 40% of all the food distributed. Ultimately, the Food Bank would like to reach 50%. For more information please visit www.foodbanklarimer.org.
About the Gardens on Spring Creek
The Gardens on Spring Creek’s mission is to improve the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture. Learn more about the botanical gardens at www.fcgov.com/gardens.