This growing season, the Green Bay Packers and Extension Brown County once again are partnering to continue and expand their Planting for a Purpose Program to encourage community members to plant a garden plot and donate fresh produce to local food pantries.
Local gardeners are invited to sign up for Planting for a Purpose and pledge to donate a portion of their harvest. Those who sign up at https://tinyurl.com/producedonation2019 can receive a free garden tote, while supplies last.
Gardeners of all ages, including school-aged children and classroom groups, are encouraged to sign up. Jenny Woldt, a fifth grade teacher at Green Bay's Jefferson Elementary School, leads a group of her students in the school garden to plant and care for crops, and donate their harvest to those in need.
"Students love taking ownership in helping to make sure our community is receiving fresh food from our garden," said Woldt. "They share their learning and joy for gardening with their families, and our hope is they establish and maintain lifelong gardening habits that help promote a healthier lifestyle for them and their community."
Local food pantries report that there is a great demand for more fresh produce donations to meet clients' needs, and those participating in Planting for a Purpose help to make sure all community members have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2018, pantries reported 15,000 pounds of donated produce, and Planting for a Purpose hopes to increase this number in 2019.
"The fun thing about our garden is that we get to be out there and plant the seeds…It's also fun because your friends and teachers are there and you can find joy in planting plants with them," said one child in Woldt's class.
"We should donate food from our garden so we can help other kids in our community get fresh food that maybe don't have a lot of food," said another student in Woldt's class.
The program, including its new Brown County Potato Project, will have three kickoff dates:
· Friday, May 31, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Garden Fair at the Green Bay Botanical Garden
· Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Garden Fair.
· Thursday, June 6, at the Titletown Night Market from 4 to 8 p.m.
This year marks the program's third year. The program is also expanding to 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 https://tinyurl.com/potatodonation2019. Participants then may pick up seed potatoes on May 31 or June 1 at the Garden Fair or at the June 6 Titletown Night Market.
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 Extension Brown County Community Gardens Program:
Since 1996, the Extension 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.