Food should be a matter of conscience, not a matter of money

Access to high quality nutrition for everyone is a cornerstone of a caring community.

However, it came to our attention that many seniors have to make the decision between buying food or their medicine each month. Additionally, dozens of children in the school system qualify for free/reduced breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. Have you ever asked what are these children and their families eating in the summer when there is no school?

Every day, Americans need food assistance, but don’t have access to fresh produce at their local pantry; meanwhile, millions of Americans are growing more produce in their own backyard than they know what to do with!

Cornerstone saw this imbalance in our community and came up with a solution for a consistent supply of nutritious food that also diminishes food waste. Produce for Pantries envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community using their own backyard gardens.

The intent of Produce for Pantries is that, with the help of Cornerstone, local community members will both be able to grow their own food in their own garden, and donate any surplus to local food pantries. Our aim for Produce for Pantries is to reduce the number of families and seniors going hungry, garden-by-garden.

What We Do:

Through Produce for Pantries, Cornerstone of Hope supplies community members with raised garden beds and all the soil, seeds, and garden plans needed to grow a plentiful garden each spring, and well into fall. Each garden package is given for free — all you need to do is take it home and get planting!

Last year, Cornerstone of Hope supplied over 250 garden beds and helped donate over 16,000 pounds of produce to area food pantries. That’s a lot of fresh produce, and a lot of families getting access to healthy, delicious meals.

How Can You Help?

1. Maintain a raised bed on your property

Do you have a spot in your back yard where you always wanted to start a garden? Now is the time. Let Cornerstone help you get started! We will supply you with all the materials for a raised bed garden, including dirt and seeds.

These can be placed anywhere, even on a parking lot. All they need is 6 or more hours of sunlight per day and an hour per week to weed and maintain it. These gardens will produce pounds of high-quality, nutritious foods for you, your family, and your community.

2. Plant a row for us.

Planting a row for us in your plot is a way current gardeners can help feed those in need.

3. Think outside the box.

If you don’t have space at home, talk to your church. Imagine if every church in the county had its Sunday School class plant and maintain one raised bed garden! The food produced can be donated to fellow church members, dropped off at a senior center, or given to the local pantry.

Need more information or need someone to make a presentation to your group? Our Garden volunteers are available to set up an informational session for your group.

Contact us at 608-563-4673.

Download the program brochure

To sign up for the 2023 Produce for Pantries program

Sign up for the 2023 Produce for Pantries program is open. Limited beds are available. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]

For more information

To learn more about the Produce For Pantries program, contact us at [email protected].