Blue Grass partners with Airdrie Food Bank for fresh food program
Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:33 am
Bluegrass Garden Centre in Balzac is teaming up with the Airdrie Food Bank and local green thumbs to bring fresh produce to those in need this summer.
Lisa Silva, marketing manager at Bluegrass Garden Centre, said she received many suggestions on the company’s Facebook page for Bluegrass to initiate the Plant a Row, Grow a Row campaign.
“We are always excited to partner with great causes and this is a good way for people to give back,” she said, adding social media followers were very supportive of the idea.
Plant a Row, Grow a Row is a campaign that began in Manitoba in 1986 and has since spread to communities across Canada.
The mission is for gardeners to share their harvest to help feed the hungry in their own community by donating extra food they’ve grown to a participating food bank.
There are more than 30 campaigns running in cities across Canada, and five in Alberta.
“Perishable food is always such a challenge for food banks, but at the same time, something they really need,” said Silva.
“Vegetable gardening has become so easy nowadays. People will plant a whole row but probably won’t eat it all, so this way they can help someone else out,” she added.
She demonstrated a Haxnicks bag, which is a special gardening bag that allows people with limited space to grow vegetables and herbs without a traditional garden.
Sue Methuen, executive assistant at the Airdrie Food Bank, said the staff tried to get the Plant a Row, Grow a Row program running in the community last summer, but were unable to find a partnering company to get the project off the ground.
She said the food bank was “thrilled” to have Bluegrass volunteer to head the campaign for the first year.
Methuen added the donations of non-perishable food is “always appreciated but it’s wonderful to be able to give out fresh food.”
“There are so many ways to support those in need. Being able to grow something with your own hands and giving it to someone in need is the ultimate way for neighbours to help neighbours, and is truly what it’s all about on a personal level,” said Methuen.
“Gardeners often have buckets of zucchini or carrots or whatever to get rid of, and this way it doesn’t go to waste.”
Bluegrass began registration for the campaign in mid-May and will be encouraging people to get involved throughout the summer.
Those interested in participating are encouraged to visit the Bluegrass Garden Centre on Writing Creek Crescent in Balzac to register for the free program and to pick up a free onion set to start off their garden. Throughout the summer, participants can drop off their extra produce at the Airdrie Food Bank at 20 East Lake Way in Airdrie.