Saturday, August 26, 2006

Food banks and excess home veggies

Came across this Seattle Times article on donating your excess home-grown veggies to local food banks. Does anyone know if a program like this exists in greater Sacramento? Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could donate our extra bounty to organizations serving folks in need? Somebody must be coordinating programs like this in Sacramento.



  1. Anonymous10:45 AM is very active in the Sacramento community.

  2. Thanks, anon.

    I just e-mailed the Senior Gleaners and will let folks know what I find out.

  3. An e-mail response I just received from one of the subjects of the article:

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for contacting the Hotline. After a little bit of digging through our database we came up with a couple of similar organizations in the Bay area, nothing specifically in Sacramento however. I don’t have specific contact information on these but I would think a Google search would provide that.

    San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG) – probably the most similar

    MESA – Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture in Oakland

    CAFF – Community Alliance of Family Farmers in Davis

    BIRC – Bio Integral Resource Center in Berkeley

    I hope this is what you were looking for.

    Good luck!


    Natural Lawn and Garden Hotline
    Seattle Tilth Association
    4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Rm 120
    Seattle, WA 98103


    The Natural Lawn and Garden Hotline is a free service that provides expert information on natural lawn and garden care to Seattle and King County residents and landscape professionals. The team of hotline experts can answer a wide range of inquiries about environment-friendly gardening for our area, from soil building, composting, and creating healthy lawns to water conservation, plant care, and alternatives to pesticide use. Printed materials include copies of the natural lawn and garden guides, fact sheets, and research reports that can be mailed to Seattle and King County residents at no charge. The hotline is managed by the Seattle Tilth Association as part of Seattle Public Utility's Natural Soil Building Program, with additional sponsorship by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP) in King County and the Saving Water Partnership.

  4. The Elk Grove Community Garden and Learning Center is operated under the umbrella of Elk Grove Community Food Bank Services. (Shame on me for not mentioning this on my blog before.)

    About 25 percent of the 4-by-16-foot planting beds are dedicated to families who use the Food Bank. They may "adopt" a plot to cultivate as they like.

    The Garden being in its infancy however, I'm not sure if any families have come forward to claim a stake.

    In the meantime, those plots are gardened by volunteer members for two reasons: to serve as demonstration plots and to provide fresh produce to the Food Bank located behing the Parks & Rec offices at 8820 Elk Grove Blvd.

    Currently many of the plots are filled with thriving squash and tomato plants donated by the Horticultural Department of Cosumnes River College.

    All gardeners are encouraged to donate surplus to this cause and bins for this purpose are located in a common area. About twice weekly, produce is delivered to the Food Bank by one of our members.

    Originally the garden was affiliated with the Elk Grove Community Services District however working with food bank services became a more viable and obviously more logical partnership.

  5. Thanks for the info, Christine. It's nice to see the connection between community gardens and food banks in Elk Grove. We all joke about not knowing what to do with our excess harvest... about friends hiding from us when they see us approaching with gargantuan zucchini... but the reality is that many Sacramento gardeners have home-grown veggies and fruits to share but don't have the proper conduit for doing that. Yet.

    I never heard back from the Senior Gleaners, by the way.