BOONE, Iowa — For the fourth consecutive year, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program partnered with food pantries across Iowa in an effort to reduce food insecurity in the state.
As part of the Growing Together initiative, Master Gardener volunteers donated fruits and vegetables to food pantries. In Boone County, Master Gardeners were able to donate 6835.3 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables from their donation garden in Boone to two local food pantries: IMPACT Community Action and Salvation Army of Boone. Both locations serve people with limited resources.
Master Gardeners in Boone County used land and water donated by Stonebridge Church to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, a variety of peppers, zucchini, summer squash, spaghetti squash, eggplant, potatoes and a variety of winter squash.
The Boone County Master Gardeners also partnered with Iowa Gardening for Good, a Madrid-based nonprofit that donates produce to central Iowa food banks and pantries from their 8-acre community garden. Iowa Gardening for Good sectioned off a pepper plot specifically for the Growing Together project. Over 15,000 pepper plants were planted and over 20,000 pounds have been donated to DMARC and numerous Central Iowa pantries.
The ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener Program and ISU Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education (SNAP-Ed) Program collaborated to provide these opportunities to ensure the produce grown will reach local food pantries.
More information about the Growing Together project can be found online, as well as information on how to become a Master Gardener volunteer.
— Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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