Delaware Center for Horticulture and Food Bank of Delaware Partner with Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to Expand Harvest Initiative

June 16, 2021

The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) and the Food Bank of Delaware (FBD) announced they will once again be partnering with PHS for their Harvest initiative, a collective action initiative focused on increasing food production and food security by mobilizing individual gardeners, community garden members, schools and institutions to plant food crops to share with their community.

This growing season, Harvest aims to again engage thousands in the Greater Philadelphia region to help grow fresh produce and to share with those most in need. DCH will serve as the lead coordinating entity for Delaware with FBD as the key partner for food collection and distribution, expanding the effort further throughout the region.

“For decades, food insecurity has been an issue not only in the Greater Philadelphia region, but across America,” said Nancy Boutté Finn, Chief Development Officer for PHS. “Last year, PHS started Harvest as a response to the COVID-19 crisis and were able to support communities with the production of over 44,000 pounds of food. This year, we again ask our communities to join us in our efforts to learn to grow produce, and to share their harvest to make fresh and healthy food more accessible to our neighbors across the region.”

With this initiative, PHS will invite thousands of gardeners to grow (grow food for themselves and their family or community); to share (one who grows and commits to share food with a selected list of food relief organizations); or to donate (someone who supports Harvest efforts through a monetary donation). Community gardens, gardening groups, institutions, and schools are also welcome to participate. This year, anyone has the option to sign up as a Growing Team with family, friends, or neighbors to pool crops together, track their collective impact, and compete for prizes.

As part of this initiative, PHS will:

  • Provide local gardeners, groups, and interested individuals with virtual resources on food growing and harvesting, including guides, checklists, and ongoing webinars
  • Maintain a list of local retailers and nurseries to get supplies and tools
  • Connect gardeners through social media channels and remote networking opportunities
  • Partner with community-based nonprofits to provide gardening supplies to low-income gardeners
  • Create and engage community growing spaces to encourage increased food production both now and long-term
  • Maintain a network of distribution agencies and partners to collect and share produce with local food banks

“Access to fresh food is a challenge facing so many families in Delaware, and we must continue to combat this ongoing crisis. DCH is proud to partner with PHS and the Food Bank of Delaware to unite our network of gardeners to feed those in need in our community, particularly when it comes to fresh, locally-grown produce,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, DCH Executive Director. “DCH has a long history in supporting home and community gardeners, and we want to combine our expertise, resources and audience with the Food Bank’s network to reach all those in need in Delaware. We are excited to collaborate on the Harvest initiative again this year and combine our efforts to have a positive impact on the health, well-being and food security of Delaware families.”

“Getting fresh fruits and vegetables into the hands of those who need it most is a critical part of our operation,” said Cathy Kanefsky, Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO. “Far too many of our neighbors in need struggle with diet-related conditions like diabetes and heart disease. As an organization, it is our role to make sure the foods we distribute are nutritious. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner on this initiative so gardeners can share their bounties with our neighbors in need.”

For an overview of the Harvest initiative, visit: http://phsonline.org/harvest. To pledge your support and grow as part of PHS Harvest, visit https://phsonline.org/for-gardeners/harvest/sign-up in order to get involved individually or as a group. To donate to Harvest, visit https://phsonline.org/for- gardeners/harvest/donate-to-harvest.

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