Sharing your garden bounty with Neighbors in Need

Wednesday - July 14, 2010


Of interest to editors and journalists covering: Hunger in America, Gardening, Sustainable Communities, Food Issues and Global Warming. Additional media information is available at


Excess garden produce usually left unharvested now being donated to neighborhood food pantries

Norwich, CT – May 24, 2010

St. Vincent de Paul Place is pleased to announce that it has joined the campaign - a nationwide effort to enable neighborhood food pantries to be easily located by local backyard gardeners wishing to share their excess garden bounty with neighbors in need.

Local food pantries usually receive their supplies from regional food banks, government programs and neighborhood donations. They generally do not include fresh produce because of distribution and storage issues leaving food pantry clients with access only to canned vegetables and fruit.

With one out of six American families now relying on pantries to help feed them, the pantries often have a hard time meeting the demand.

At the same time, millions of backyard gardeners across America frequently find that their vegetable and fruit gardens provide far more produce than they can possibly use or share with friends. The remainder is often either left to rot in the garden or put into the trash, which produces methane as it decomposes - a global warming gas.

Gardeners who want to share part of their harvest are often unable to find local pantries because they typically do not have a yellow page listing or an Internet presence.

To address this, the web site enables food pantries to register their name, phone, address, an optional photograph of the pantry to make it easier to find, and days and times they can accept the gardeners produce. Gardeners and other donors also have the option of using the AmpleHarvest iPhone app available as a free download from the Apple iTunes store.

Now that St. Vincent de Paul Place is a part of the campaign, area backyard gardeners will be able to quickly find the pantry using the personalized driving instructions available on the site. More than 1,700 food pantries participate nationwide.

According to founder, Gary Oppenheimer, “Two years ago, my own garden grew more produce than we could possibly use, and I quickly found that there are only so many cucumbers you can give to friends and still have them call you a friend. Our community garden also left a lot of produce to rot on the vines. When I searched on the Internet for pantries, the nearest one listed was 25 miles away even though my own town has five. That was when it became clear that was desperately needed”.

St. Vincent de Paul Place welcomes fresh produce donations for its patrons. Additionally, information will be posted from time to time by the pantry on the site, listing those store bought items that are in short supply at the pantry – this to enable anyone wishing to help their neighbors in need.

St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich was founded in 1979 to meet the basic needs of the region’s poor and homeless. This community service is a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, CT. Families and individuals in need of food for the home receive the equivalent of fourteen thousand meals per month in a variety of grocery items from our Food Pantry. At our facility, we serve breakfast and a midday main meal six days weekly, having served over 81,000 hot meals this past calendar year. Our Care and Advocacy programs include counseling, and laundry appliances and a shower for patrons’ free use. With a Christian non-judgmental care we assist those who hunger physically and emotionally regardless of one’s gender, race or religion. While tending to the immediate needs of our poor, we strive to motivate our clients toward self-sufficiency and a better life.

About ( is a nationwide not-for-profit anti hunger effort which educates, encourages and enables home gardeners across America to share their excess garden produce with a local food pantry.

St. Vincent de Paul Place | 9:37 AM