N.D. gardeners urged to help feed the hungry

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Farm Forum

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota gardeners are being urged to donate fruits and vegetables to a program that helps feed hungry people around the state.

The Hunger Free ND Garden Project is in its fifth year. In the first four years, the partnership of the state Agriculture Department and the Great Plains Food Bank generated nearly 500 tons of produce for food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the need for food aid continues to grow, and North Dakota gardeners can help meet that need by planting an extra row of fruits or veggies.

“Sadly in a state that produces so much food, hunger is very much a problem here — our largest food bank has seen an almost 12 percent increase in the need for services in the past year,” Goehring said. “Sadder yet, almost 40 percent of those needing help are children.”

Great Plains Food Bank Program Director Steve Sellent says more than 80,000 people rely on the organization for nutrition help.