Hello all you avid gardeners and generous neighbors!
Over the last few weeks many organizers have been discussing the best ways to provide produce donation opportunities to address food-insecurity through Solidarity Gardens-CU. We want to find the best ways to share surplus that are safe for growers, consumers, and the service providers (food pantries/kitchens). We're scheming up a lot of ways for you to donate!
Just for some clarification, Solidarity Gardens-CU (SGCU) is an initiative supported by many organizations and neighbors. SGCU is not its own legal entity, but rather an idea, that everyone can own and grow with their unique skills. So if you have an idea about how to address food insecurity with our collective garden surplus, please reach out! [email protected]
Things to keep in mind if you attend to grow and share produce:
- Before harvesting produce, clean and sanitize the following: hands, harvest knife/clippers, and produce receptacle.
- While community transmission of COVID-19 is in progress, a mask should be worn by person(s) harvesting, transporting and distributing produce.
- Before donating produce, create and attach a sign that reads, “Not ready for use, wash and prepare before eating”.
As we build capacity through the growing season, we hope to offer more of our own donation stations for distributing produce to those experiencing the most hunger in Champaign-Urbana. This system is being built by organizers from Channing-Murray Foundation, The Cunningham Township Supervisors Office, Urbana Park District, and Sola Gratia Farm. In the meantime, we offer guidance on how you can share your produce today!
SGCU Guide to Donating Garden Surplus in Champaign-Urbana.
We'll add more ways to donate throughout the summer and harvest season!
1) Produce Share: Peer to Peer!
On our website, we provide this 'Produce Board' page where you can post your surplus and let others contact you about picking it up! Much like a SWAP group on Facebook or a Craigslist post, you would create a title with what/how much produce you have to give, and then any write other details in the body of the post about variety, condition, and how people can pick up from you!
2) Friday's Sola Gratia Mobile Market! Produce is flying off the table here. Drop by, bring your extra produce, and it is sure to get picked up!
3) Food Pantries Accepting Produce- Right Now!
Keep in mind, we do not want to overwhelm these critical service organizations with our rotting vegetables. Please call ahead before dropping by and make sure our food pantry staff and volunteers have the capacity to store and distribute your donation.
Stay tuned throughout the summer for more opportunities/places to donate.
Keep growing - Keep loving one another!
More to come.