Plant a Row for the Hungry - U of I Extension

News Release

Plant a Row for the Hungry

This article was originally published on March 17, 2017 and expired on July 30, 2017. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

Across our community, the number of families living in poverty is increasing. During the summer months when school-aged children are out of school, it is estimated that some families spend an additional $400 per month on food (Illinois State Board of Education).  Individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations can increase the amount of nutritious fresh foods available for those receiving assistance by donating their extra fruits and vegetables to local food pantries through participation in Plant a Row for the Hungry. Launched in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association (GWA), Plant a Row for the Hungry encourages local home gardening enthusiasts to plant an extra row of produce with the intention of donating the additional yields to local food pantries.

Plant a Row helps to support local agencies that are the only hope for some to put food on the table for themselves and their children. By donating produce directly, gardeners can help pantries and their patrons stretch their meager resources. To participate, simply plant extra vegetables or fruits in your garden area. There is no sign-up or cost associated with participation. Deliver the harvest to a local food pantry, and spread the word to other gardeners. To learn more about Plant a Row for the Hungry, or to find a local food pantry near you, please contact Amber Noll, Extension Educator, located in the University of Illinois LaSalle County Extension Office, 815-433-0707.

For more ideas on healthy pantry donations, visit University of Illinois Extension’s “Making the Most of Your Food Basket Donations” website ( Non-food items are always needed, and include personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, liquid laundry detergent, diapers, and more. Many pantries also appreciate cash donations in any amount.

The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at

If you have questions or need more information please call University of Illinois Extension, Bureau-LaSalle-Marshall-Putnam Unit at (815)224-0889. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus. 

Pull date: July 30, 2017