North Dakota is starting a Hunger-Free Garden Project.
"The goal of the garden project is to grow and distribute a half million pounds of fresh food to needy individuals and communities without sources of fresh produce in our state during 2010," says Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner.
The project will enlist volunteers to provide land, fundraising, equipment and time to produce and distribute the food.
"This is an opportunity for everyone in North Dakota to make a difference helping others," Goehring says. "We will be looking for people to promote the program, to plant, tend and harvest the gardens, to distribute the produce and to help people better use it in their diets."
The Hunger-Free North Dakota Garden Project will not only reach out to needy individuals and families, but also to communities that have no ready access to fresh food.
"There is limited fresh food available to food pantries, especially in more isolated areas," Goehring says. "We want to supplement the diets of people who rely on those sources with fresh fruits and vegetables. The program also aims to improve diets through education in cooking, canning and nutrition."
Other agencies and organizations participating in the project include Dakota College at Bottineau Center for Horticulture, Healthy North Dakota, Lutheran Social Services Great Plains Food Bank, North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, North Dakota State University Extension Service, Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society and Pride of Dakota Companies.
Joining Goehring at the news conference announcing the project were Duane Hauck, director of the NDSU Extension Service; Steve Sellent, executive director of the Lutheran Social Services Great Plains Food Bank; Karen Gehrig, president of the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association; Dwight Duke, Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society, and Karen Ehrens, Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota Coalition.
Source: ND Department of Agriculture