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Plant a Row for the Hungry

Find out how you can share some goodness – for the body and soul.

Share Your Bounty

If you have extra produce you would like to donate in El Dorado County, UC Master Gardeners will provide names, addresses and info for a variety of places on the West Slope where you can share your bounty.

Drop-off sites for 2023 are listed in this PDF download. 

Thank you for supporting our local Plant a Row for the Hungry project.

Instructions for Harvesting and Deliveries 

Before harvesting, contact the agency to see what their current policy is. Harvesters must follow protocols set by the agency and local or state Public Health guidelines.

Disposable gloves must be worn when harvesting fresh produce. Refrain from touching your face, hair or clothing with the gloves. When harvesting tasks are complete and the delivery is loaded into a vehicle, discard all disposable gloves and wash hands before leaving the garden. Replace gloves when you take a break. Disposable gloves will be available on site.

Social distancing must be exercised when delivering to the agency; wash your hands after making a delivery.

Eight Tips for Donating Fresh Produce to Food Pantries

  • It is important to check with the food bank or pantry before delivering any produce. Find out if they accept produce at their site and if they do, ask if they need the type of produce you want to bring.
  • Always handle the fresh fruits and vegetables safely to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. For example, don’t harvest when you are sick and always wash your hands before harvesting
  • Offer only high quality, freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not donate fruits and vegetables that are overripe, have mold, bruising, spoilage or insect damage.
  • If you use pesticides in your garden, always read and follow the label instructions.
  • Harvest produce early in the morning.
  • Wipe as much mud and dirt as possible off of the produce but do not rinse the produce. Rinsing the produce takes off some of the natural protective coating and will cause the produce to spoil sooner than if it wasn’t rinsed.
  • Do not mix different kinds of produce. For example, don’t put cucumbers in the same clean, food grade container as green beans. For example, you might have bags of 4 different kinds of veggies that you put in one large box.

Join a Giving Garden

Even if you don't have your own garden, you can still support the Plant a Row project! 

The Wakamatsu Farm, managed by the American River Conservancy, has a Giving Garden. All the produce grown is given to various food programs throughout our community.

Volunteers are welcome to help in the garden. Contact Marianne at 530-621-1224 to sign up for one of their work days, which are scheduled several times each month.

Don’t be surprised if you too benefit as you support your community. I always tell people, If you want to brighten your day, just show up with a box of vine-ripened tomatoes at a local food closet. You’ll get such a positive response from the volunteers and recipients that you’ll be smiling all week. The need is great, so we appreciate your support. If you have questions, contact Robin Stanley at 530-644-1631 or birdwomanca@comcast.net.

Have more questions?

This Michigan State Extension article addresses many of the key points you’ll need to know.