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Area gardeners donate thousands of pounds of fresh produce to Harvesters

Posted at 7:41 AM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 08:44:41-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Every year local gardeners donate fresh produce to Harvesters to feed those in need.

In 2017, they contributed more than 10,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to the organization

Some of that came from Ginny Cartwright's garden in Belton, where she grows tomatoes, okra, cantaloupe and many other items.

"Every year it gets a little bigger," Cartwright said of her plot.

As the garden grows, Cartwright said she and her husband can't use everything it produces. That's why they've taken their surplus to Harvesters for the past couple years. 

"I enjoy it. I enjoy the gardening, and I enjoy bringing it in too," she said.

Her green thumb is good news for families who don't always have access to fresh produce.

"The clients who go to our pantries, many of them receive SNAP benefits. Those are the food stamps. They just don't get enough in their benefits to be able to buy this produce at the grocery store," Harvesters Communications Manager Gene Hallinan explained.

The organization relies on a program called Plant a Row for the Hungry, which encourages area gardeners to grow an extra row of fruits and vegetables and donate the produce. 

Hallinan emphasized each donation makes an impact. 

"I just know that there's going to be a very happy family eating nutritious food that night," she said.

Cartwright is happy she can share her harvest with the people Harvesters helps.

"I think it's important to help people get the food they need," she said.