Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Portland Parks & Recreation's Community Gardens program donates over 43,000 pounds of food to local hunger relief agencies (Photo)


News Release from Portland Parks & Recreation
Posted on FlashAlert: December 30th, 2015 1:03 PM
Downloadable file: Smiles at a Lents Community Garden work party, with Hands On Portland and Produce for People volunteers. Photo taken November 21, 2015.
Downloadable file: Cindy Clemens at Centennial Park Community Garden, which donated 726 lbs to Birch Community Services. Photo taken in July 2015.
Produce for People reduces waste, provides healthy, organic produce

(Portland, OR) --

The Produce for People program (PFP), part of Portland Parks & Recreation Community Gardens, announces that Portland Community Gardeners have helped 42,000 pounds of organic, locally grown produce reach 24 hunger relief agencies in Portland. The fresh, nutrititious food was grown in 42 of the 50 Portland Community Garden sites across the Rose City, and harvested during the gardening season spanning November 2014 to October 2015.

The Produce for People program first sprouted in 1995 to help neighbors in need. Produce for People allows Portland's community gardeners to use their ability to grow healthy, organic food into an opportunity to fulfill the needs of hungry people in Portland.

"It is uplifting to see this grassroots effort thrive so well," says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. "PFP is about people helping people, neighbors helping neighbors. I commend all the community gardeners across Portland, as well as our Community Gardens staff, for their continued efforts."

PFP allows gardeners to cut down on wasting perishable produce they aren't able to immediately consume, and to make new connections with members of their community.

"Our gardeners have so much pride for the food they grow, and love to share the bounty from their gardens with friends, family and people in their community," says Laura Niemi, Portland Community Gardens Program Coordinator.

The ability of gardeners to produce a wide variety of vegetables (as well as fresh herbs) is another benefit of the program, as it provides opportunities for access to fresh, culturally appropriate food to members of underprivileged communities.

"And we all need fresh, healthy food, grown as locally as possible," notes Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. "Produce for People is right in line with our mission for 'Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland'. This is a real community success story."

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