By now everybody should be well into enjoying their harvests from a garden well-tended. This year I have an eight foot row of pickling cucumbers, which has done remarkably well. I have been taking extra cucumbers to the local soup kitchen for about 4 weeks now – about 6 pounds once or twice a week. And this is after Nicolas and I made 14 jars of pickles.
I have been donating extra produce, including the aforementioned cukes, peppers, and even the occasional watermelon or cantaloupe to the soup kitchen for about 5 years now. It’s a relatively small operation, serving only 30 meals a night. So even just a few pounds of anything fresh can make a real difference. Volunteers working in the kitchen are always grateful to have some fresh food for their clients.
This year I have been particularly encouraged when I go to the kitchen because just about every time I have gone there has also been other garden donations sitting on the counter. Someone brought a half dozen tomatoes, or a couple of peppers. I even spied a butternut squash in the refrigerator one time. It looks like Vegetable Philanthropy is starting to catch on!
So you see that it doesn’t take a lot – just a few extra fruits or veggies, and a little extra time to deliver your bounty. I encourage everyone to support your local soup kitchens and food pantries. Just be sure that they are equipped to receive fresh food.
Visit the Grow It Give It page for more information and assistance in finding a soup kitchen near you.