The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) has announced its newest public impact campaign – ‘Grow an Extra Row’.
The new campaign provides private and commercial gardeners with the opportunity to grow an extra row of vegetables or fruit and to share the harvest with neighbours by donating it to the local food banks and meal programs.
The EOAN encourages all farmers and members to contact their local food bank and discuss what they might need and understand the volumes that they can handle. The EOAN also wants to publicly celebrate each of its members who participate by sharing their stories, to ensure that participants are recognized and to inspire others to follow suit.
Ferme Houle, a member of the EOAN in Curran, takes the concept to a new level.
“Ferme Houle partnered with the Agapè Center, another EOAN member in Cornwall, for the farm’s donations and offered to help coordinate possible drop-off locations for other farm donations,” according to owner André Houle. Ferme Houle kicked off its Facebook campaign on April 1.
Good Food Garden and the Vankleek Hill Food Bank, both EOAN members in Vankleek Hill, have added their own spins to ‘Grow an Extra Row’.
Peggy McDonald of Good Food Garden plants enough for extra CSA baskets specifically to donate to the Vankleek Hill Food Bank. She also has a program in place where CSA clients can donate any unused weeks to the local food bank. This allows Good Food Garden to offer a wide selection and a good quantity of vegetables for donation.
“We agree that Good Food Garden has a great idea. The CSA format delivers fresh vegetables on a weekly basis throughout the growing season,” says Jane Fantie, of the Vankleek Hill Food Bank. “Our clients get to choose the vegetables that they like and will use.”
“The VKH Food Bank showcases the large variety of vegetables grown locally, offers recipes for lesser known veggies, and encourages healthy eating. An added bonus is that there is less waste when clients choose what they like!”
The public impact campaign fits the mission of the EOAN in supporting local food production and consumption by connecting growers and consumers, including service providers like community food banks, explains Tom Manley, Executive Director of the EOAN.
The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network was created in 2010 and serves a territory comprising Akwesasne, the City of Cornwall, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. Its bi-weekly newsletter is sent out to more than 1,000 recipients, among them farmers, food producers, institutions, agri-food experts, and consumers. In both 2021 and 2022, the EOAN received core funding from the United Counties of SDG, the City of Cornwall, and the United Counties of Prescott-Russell.
To learn more about the EOAN campaign ‘Grow an Extra Row’ visit https://www.agro-on.ca/pages/grow-a-row.