This growing season, the Green Bay Packers and Brown County Community Gardens are partnering for the fourth year on the Planting for a Purpose Program to encourage community members to plant a garden plot and donate fresh produce to local food pantries.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local food pantries report there is great need for more fresh produce donations to meet clients' needs. By signing up and pledging to donate a portion of their harvest, local gardeners can help ensure all community members have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
In 2019, pantries reported over 19,000 pounds of donated produce, and Planting for a Purpose hopes to increase this number in 2020. To sign up and pledge to donate a portion of their harvest, gardeners can visit tinyurl.com/2020plantingforapurpose. Those who sign up can receive a free rain gauge, while supplies last.
Additionally, gardening can provide much more than just access to fresh produce, with significant benefits for gardeners' physical and mental health.
"Over 70 percent of our community gardeners say they experience less stress in their daily lives because they garden," said Brown County's community garden coordinator Margaret Franchino.
Gardening also can be especially beneficial during challenging times, providing another opportunity for residents and families to spend time outdoors and enjoy light physical activity.
"With the added stress we are going through now, I can't wait to get into my garden knowing how much it helps my mental health and is something healthy to do for my family," said gardener and Planting for a Purpose participant Beth Stockbridge.
The program this year also will include the Brown County Potato Project. All community members are invited to sign up to receive free seed potatoes, provided by Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes, with the understanding that they agree to donate half of their potato harvest to food pantries.
Those wishing to participate in the Brown County Potato Project are encouraged to request a specific number of plants in advance at tinyurl.com/potatodonation2020.
Interested gardeners also can sign up and learn more at http://browncountycommunitygardens.org.
About Green Bay Packers Give Back:
Packers Give Back is the Packers' all-encompassing community outreach initiative, which includes the Green Bay Packers Foundation, appearances made by players, alumni, coaches and staff, youth football outreach, cash and in-kind donations, Make-A-Wish visits, and community events.
About Brown County Community Gardens Program:
Since 1996, the Brown County Community Gardens Program has provided garden space and logistical assistance to county residents, empowering them to grow affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. For more information, please visit http://browncountycommunitygardens.org.