Top 5 Reasons to Donate Garden Produce

published on 28 March 2022
Donated garden produce in Denver, CO (Photo credit: Ellen Jaskol)
Donated garden produce in Denver, CO (Photo credit: Ellen Jaskol)

Do you find yourself harvesting so much garden produce that you don’t know what to do with it all? Your freezer is full, you can’t imagine spending a hot summer day canning, and your neighbors have threatened you not to bring any more over. We have a solution: Donate it!

Check out our Top 5 reasons to donate your garden produce 🍅

1. Build community 

Your donation of garden produce not only provides a neighbor with immediate nutritional needs, it also builds cohesion and strength in your community.

Worried your home garden donation might be too small to matter? Small donations from a large number of home gardeners can aggregate to a significant amount of healthy produce available in our communities. Join in with other gardeners to make a difference! Every little bit helps when we all work together! 

2. Support human rights and dignity

Food is a right! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognized food as a human right in 1948. For many underserved families, the availability and accessibility of nutritious foods might feel more like a privilege than a right. 

By donating produce from your home garden, you are contributing to your local hunger relief efforts and joining the forefront of combating hunger and food insecurity

Plus, it can be hard for some folks to ask for assistance.  Hunger relief organizations work hard to ensure a dignified process for neighbors experiencing food insecurity to receive the food they need.  

3. Fight climate change 

Helping your neighbors in need can also help keep our planet cool! Did you know that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are associated with food waste? According to the US EPA, the most impactful ways we can reduce GHG from Food Waste are:

  1. Waste prevention is better than recycling (composting is good, but consumption is best!)
  2. Reducing waste from homes and restaurants
  3. Focusing on fruits and vegetables, which take more resources to grow, and spoil more quickly

Donating garden produce within your food local system also helps to reduce spoilage in transit, and cuts down on carbon emissions. 

4. Reduce food waste

Each year, 931 million tons of food is wasted, including 570 million tons of food waste that occurs at a household level. Donating garden produce from your home ensures that your hard work in growing those beautiful fruits and vegetables doesn't go to waste.

Even before reaching homes, more than 20% of the world's fruit and vegetable crop is wasted between harvest and retail. Donating produce from your home garden gets the backyard bounty from your home to a kitchen table in your town faster, so it's fresher, more nutritious, and less will spoil along the way.

5. Give back to your community in a meaningful way

You’ve put so much love into your home garden, why not share that love with your community?

An average of 10.5% of American households experience food insecurity and 3.9% experience extreme food insecurity at least once. In 2020, 1 out of every 5 people acquired food from a hunger relief organization. Among the 13.5 million Americans living in food deserts, minorities are disproportionately impacted due to the lack of culturally relevant foods available. 

While emergency food providers would love to distribute more healthy, fresh food, the reality is that the bulk of food distributed by food banks, pantries, etc is nonperishable. Donating your garden fresh produce provides access for families experiencing food insecurity to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since we often don’t know who is experiencing food insecurity in our own neighborhood, donating through a local organization helps reach your neighbors who will benefit the most.

There are so many great reasons to donate your garden produce, and Fresh Food Connect makes it easy for community and backyard gardeners to donate to your local hunger relief organization.

What if every gardener planted just one extra plant to share?

One small donation can have a tremendous impact. Just imagine, if every gardener planted one extra plant to share, collectively, we would have an abundant source of fresh, healthy produce available to be distributed to families experiencing food insecurity in our own communities! The free Fresh Food Connect mobile app connects you to a local hunger relief program, then manages and tracks your donations of homegrown produce throughout the season.  Download the app today!

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