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Wondering what to do with the extra vegetables from your garden?

Bonnie Plants is asking gardeners to plant extra seeds and donate the harvest to neighboring food pantries.
Credit: Bonnie Plants
Travis Hammonds tends his garden with his children at their home in Alabama. Hammonds says donating their extra harvest to their local food bank helps fight food insecurity in their community and teaches his children the importance of giving back.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Summer may officially begin June 20 but the gardening season has already started. Growing your own fresh vegetables is great and having enough to share is even better.

According to Bonnie Plants, while more households are gardening their own vegetables, food insecurity has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Believe it or not, there are food pantries that accept perishable food items.

“Many people don’t realize that you can donate the extra food from your garden directly to local food pantries,” said Mike Sutterer, Bonnie Plants President and CEO. “Most gardeners end up with extra zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes that they don’t know what to do with, and if all of these gardeners donated just a bag or two of vegetables, we could make a significant impact on food insecurity nationwide.”

In an effort to aid communities and families with food insecurities, Bonnie Plants is asking gardeners to plant extra items this season and donate the harvest to neighboring food pantries.

Ample Harvest has partnered with Bonnie Gardens for the Grow More, Feed More initiative and makes it easy to identify where you can donate your extra crops. Visit the website here and type in your zip code to learn where you can donate your harvest. Here are a few in the Toledo area:

Mustard Seed Site 9

5420 302nd Street Toledo, OH 43611

Contact: Lori Jarrell at 419-727-1800 or mustardseed302@hotmail.com

Friendly Center

1324 N Superior Toledo, OH 43604

Contact: Sarah Fuller at 419-243-1289 or sfuller@friendly-center.org

Website: http://www.friendly-center.org/

Helping Hands

443 6th St Toledo, OH 43605

Contact: Paul Cook at 419-691-0613 or helpinghands@bex.net

Website: www.helpinghandstoledo.org

Food For Thought

316 Adams Street Toledo, OH 43604

Contact: Jill Bunge at 419.972.0022 or info@feedtoledo.org

Website: www.feedtoledo.org

Cherry Street Mission Ministries

1501 Monroe St Toledo, OH 43604

Contact: Nikki Morey at 419.214.3410 or nmorey@cherrystreetmission.org

Website: www.cherrystreetmission.org

Central Residents Council

642 Division Street Toledo, OH 43602

Contact: Teresa Abernathy at 419.246.3188 or centralresidentsco@yahoo.com

Website: www.centralresidentscouncil.com

TAM Feed Your Neighbor 100

444 Floyd Street Toledo, OH 43620

Contact: Pastor Kevin Perrine at 419.242.7401 or pastorkevinperrine@yahoo.com

Website: tamohio.org

Toledo Seagate Food Bank

526 High Street Toledo, OH 43609

Contact: Mindy Rapp at 419.244.6996

Lutheran Social Services

2149 Collingwood Toledo, OH 43620

Contact: Joyce Willier at 419.243.9178 or jwillier@lssnwo.org

Cindy's Corner

745 Walbridge Av. Toledo, OH 43609

Contact: Cindy Kirk at 419.724.5280 or stlucascindyscorner@gmail.com

Mayfair Plymouth Church Community Food Pantry

5353 Bennett Rd. Toledo, OH 43612

Contact: Shelly Kirsch at 419.476.7093 of skdk1970@live.com

The Bridge

3613 Monroe Street Toledo, OH 43606

Contact: Clara Petty at 419.473.1167 or cpetty@monroesnc.org

Website: http://monroesstnc.com

Redeemer Feed Your Neighbor

1702 Upton Ave Toledo, OH 43607

Contact: Kathryn Tinsley at 419.407.0637 or mzwanda1@yahoo.com

The Storehouse

3611 Upton St. Toledo, OH 43613

Contact: Neiko Jones at 419.380.9357 or riverresources@mail.com

Website: infor@therivertoledo.com

Crossroads FRC Food Pantry

4543 Douglas Road Toledo, OH 43613

Contact: Christina Breitner-Fuss at 419.475.3258 or crossroads@lssnwo.org

Heavens Highway Biker Church

2200 W Alexis Rd TOLEDO, OH 43613

Contact: Joanne Holmes at 419.214.0203 or joanne.holmes@heavenshighway.org

Sylvania Area Family Services, Inc

5440 Marshall Rd Sylvania, OH 43560

Contact: Dottie Van Drieson at 419.882.8415 or dvandrieson@ambt.net

Website: sylvaniaareafamilyservices.org

Jewish Family Service Food Bank

6505 Sylvania Avenue Sylvania, OH 43560

Contact: Keryn Ruiz at 419.885.2561 or keryn@jewishtoledo.org

The Lord's Harvest Pantry

1140 S. Telegraph Rd. Monroe, MI 48161

Contact: Jeff Weaver at 419.279.8000 or jeff@crystalvisionsoftware.com

Website: TheLordsHarvestPantry.com

The Salvation Army of Monroe County

815 E. 1st Street Monroe, MI 48161

Contact: Karen Basile 734.241.0440 or karen.basile@usc.salvationarmy.org  

Wings Outreach

12810 Lulu Road Ida, MI 48140

Contact: Pastor Willie Lass at 734.735.1669 or WLass@Charter.Net