UNION SPRINGS, Ala. – A new national survey by Bonnie Plants finds more home gardeners are joining the movement to fight hunger by sharing their harvests to feed neighbors in need. It’s a growing trend inspired by the Grow More. Feed More. initiative, which Bonnie Plants formed to help combat food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey found 60 percent of gardeners who have donated produce to food pantries this year have done so for the first time. The results come as Bonnie Plants has grown its own commitment to fighting hunger through an increased donation of $200,000 to AmpleHarvest.org, a nonprofit organization Bonnie partners with for the Grow More. Feed More. initiative which connects home gardeners with local food pantries to donate surplus homegrown produce.
“Thanks to this significant donation from Bonnie Plants, we’ve been able to overhaul AmpleHarvest.org in a major way,” said AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer. “When our upgraded website launches soon, it will include new features and technology that will allow us to connect gardeners with food pantries better than ever before, ultimately helping to ensure no harvests go to waste while nourishing neighbors in need.”
So far, 41 percent of gardeners say they have donated produce to a food pantry this year, while 23 percent still plan to do so. The survey also found 58 percent of gardeners will likely donate harvests to a food pantry in the future, which is promising because need continues to grow for fresh, homegrown food among those without it.
“Sadly, millions of Americans will still struggle with food insecurity long after the pandemic is behind us, which is why Bonnie’s commitment to fighting hunger will continue for years to come,” said Bonnie Plants President and CEO Mike Sutterer. “We’re more optimistic than ever thanks to all of the members of the gardening community who are joining us by donating their harvests to help make a difference.”
To support local food pantries, Bonnie Plants has grown thousands of pounds of produce at test gardens in Union Springs, Alabama and Marysville, Ohio and at growing stations around the country. Additionally, Bonnie Plants will continue to donate 5 percent of all BonniePlants.com sales to AmpleHarvest.org.
“If you missed out on growing a vegetable garden in the spring, it’s not too late to start one for a fall harvest,” said Sutterer. “The cooler days ahead are ideal for growing many vegetables and herbs, such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach and other leafy greens, and is a great way to keep the giving going into fall.”
At Bonnie Plants, gardening is about more than putting plants in the ground — it’s a belief that good can grow anywhere. For more on all of the ways Bonnie Plants is nurturing curiosity, self-care and the ability to give back to our communities through gardening, click here.
About Bonnie Plants
Headquartered in Union Springs, Alabama, Bonnie Plants is the largest and only national supplier and producer of vegetable and herb plants for home gardens in the United States. Bonnie grows 300 varieties of quality vegetable and herb plants for home gardeners across the country, with over 85 growing facilities serving the entire United States. Established in 1918 by Livingston and Bonnie Paulk, the company has remained in touch with its roots for more than 100 years. Bonnie Plants are available at garden retailers throughout the United States and online at bonnieplants.com.