At Second Harvest Food Bank, our work to ensure that families have enough to eat has always been about more than simply providing calories.
We all know that what we eat matters. Yet many people are not aware that the incidence of diet-related illnesses among food insecure families is significant and higher than the general population. Such health disparities are among the reasons why Second Harvest strives to source nutritious products, including ample fresh produce, for our food assistance network, and why we are excited about a growing initiative to include garden education in our wide range of programming.
Beyond providing a source for fresh, nutritious foods for families and whole communities, gardening is an excellent form of physical activity for both kids and adults. Second Harvest's Nutrition Services Team will lead our garden education efforts to support community, school, and food pantry gardens.
Here's a bit more information about what our team will offering for new and established gardening initiatives:
Seed Bank: Thanks to generous donations from local retail partners and funding through USDA’s SNAP-Ed program, we can offer seed packets to community gardens at the beginning of each planting season. We have a variety of vegetable, herbs, and flower seeds available.
Garden Mentor: We partner with local NC Cooperative Extension offices to provide the best support, connections, and resources related to all of our community partner's gardening needs. We can provide technical support to help build and design a new garden in your community or help with planting at the beginning of each growing season. We are here to be yet another resource to help answer some common garden related questions, such as:
How should I store and prepare my summer harvest?
How do I know when fruits and vegetables are ripe?
When is the right time to harvest?
How do I manage disease and pests?
Garden Workshops: Interactive workshops, in-person and online, are offered to accommodate community partners interested in community garden education sessions. Topics include, but are not limited to:
Building a Healthy MyPlate in the Garden
The 6 Edible Parts of a Plant
Container Gardening and When to Pick it, How to Fix it.
Some of these lessons can be found on Second Harvest's YouTube page. We are also able to offer our popular recipe demonstrations in the garden, using fresh garden produce.
Recipes: Storage and preparation of fresh garden produce can be a little different than the produce from a grocery store. The flavors are more vibrant, and the produce tends to last longer. There are many different ways to prepare nutritious and simple meals, while highlighting flavors from the garden. We have delicious recipes to share that incorporate produce from every season! In addition to sharing recipes, we can share tips for preserving, canning, freezing, and drying garden produce.
For more information, please reach contact Kana Miller at email@example.com or 336.422.7695.