Posts Tagged ‘Harvest for Hunger’

Column Cites UMaine Extension’s Harvest for Hunger

Friday, July 12th, 2013

In May, the “Grow It in Maine” column by Carol Howe in Downeast Coastal Press focused on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Harvest for Hunger program and its benefits to the state.

Cooperative Extension Program Cited in Press Herald Column

Friday, April 26th, 2013

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program was mentioned in a recent “Food and Dining Dispatches” column for the Portland Press Herald. The program is seeking gardeners willing to plant an extra row of produce this year to donate to local soup kitchens and food pantries.

Harvest for Hunger Program Featured in Press Herald

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

In a story about employee-managed corporate gardens, the Portland Press Herald featured University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Harvest for Hunger program and UMaine Extension educator Barbara Murphy, who helps run the program. Murphy said hunger in Maine is usually represented by poor nutrition resulting from people not having the money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, which is the niche Harvest for Hunger is trying to fill. The story also included a UMaine-produced video about the IDEXX Laboratories’ gardens.

Harvest for Hunger Collects 140 Tons of Produce, Surpassing 2011 Goal

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Master Gardners feed hungry; photo by Edwin RemsbergAfter receiving and updating final totals for this year’s Harvest for Hunger campaign, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension gardening program coordinator says volunteer gardeners around the state donated more than 140 tons of garden produce to charity.

“Thanks to everyone’s effort, we have exceeded our goal of 250,000 pounds,” says Extension educator Barbara Murphy in the South Paris Oxford County office. “I am speechless. My heartfelt thanks for all of the terrific work.”

Murphy, who coordinates the program, had announced her gratitude several weeks ago that preliminary results indicated 90 tons — 180,000 pounds — of fresh fruits and vegetables were donated this year. The final figure is now 140 tons, or 280,076 pounds.

Nearly 500 volunteer gardeners in about a dozen counties this year donated produce to 114 food pantries, shelters or charitable organizations around the state. Murphy also revised upwards the value of the produce to $473,328, from $303,713 earlier.

The number of participants more than doubled from 200 in 2010 and the number of organizations benefiting from the gardeners’ generosity more than tripled, from 45 last year.

Contact: Barbara Murphy, 743-6329, 1-800-287-1482 (toll-free in Maine)

Harvest for Hunger Collection to Exceed 90 Tons

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Master Gardener volunteers distribute fresh produce to hungry Mainers; photo by Edwin RemsbergThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger Program this year generated 179,712 pounds of fresh garden produce donated to charity by volunteer gardeners around the state.

Nearly 500 volunteer gardeners in about a dozen counties this year donated the nearly 90 tons of vegetables and fruit to 114 food pantries, shelters or charitable organizations around the state, according to Extension educator Barbara Murphy in the South Paris Oxford County office. Murphy, who oversees the program, values the produce at $303,713, based on a sales price averaging $1.69 per pound.

The number of participants more than doubled from 200 in 2010 and the number of organizations benefiting from the gardeners’ generosity more than tripled, from 45 last year. Murphy calculated that farmers and gardeners collectively logged 5,890 hours in this year’s Harvest for Hunger effort.

Murphy considers the program, which is still receiving donated produce as the growing season winds down, highly successful given the challenging, if not poor, growing conditions throughout much of the summer. Inconsistent rain, combined with hot, dry periods, took an especially large toll on winter squash, “which always adds tons to the totals,” she says.

Donated fruits and vegetables have increased in volume each year, as has the number of gardeners participating, in addition to the need, Murphy says. Since 2000, volunteers have donated almost 542 tons of fresh produce to the Extension’s Harvest for Hunger program.

For information and details on future participation, Murphy can be reached by email at barbara.murphy@maine.edu or by telephone at 1-800-287-1482 in Maine.

Participating counties producing the most produce for the program are listed in order: Kennebec, Penobscot, York, Oxford, Washington, Hancock, Franklin, Cumberland, and Knox, Waldo and Lincoln combined, Piscataquis and Somerset.

In addition, Highmoor Farm in Monmouth and university experimental gardens contributed more than 6 tons. Murphy says with as much as 20,000 pounds anticipated from Androscoggin and Penobscot counties, the grand total could reach 100 tons, the amount donated in 2010.

Maine Harvest for Hunger: York County

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Blaine House garden vegetables donated to the Maine Harvest for Hunger program

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers harvested Blaine House garden vegetables Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011; the yield was donated locally to the Augusta Food Bank through the Maine Harvest for Hunger program.

volunteers with boxes of squashes

Abbie Perry of the Augusta Food Bank, First Lady Ann LaPage, Master Gardener Volunteers Maryanne Ward and Karen Simpson, and UMaine Extension Educator Caragh Fitzgerald

volunteers with donated produce

First Lady Ann LePage (left) and Abbie Perry of the Augusta Food Bank

volunteers with donated produce

First Lady Ann LaPage with Master Gardener Volunteers Maryanne Ward and Karen Simpson

Maine Harvest for Hunger: Volunteers Making a Difference

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Murphy in Sunday Telegram Harvest Story

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Comments from Barbara Murphy of UMaine Cooperative Extension were included in a Maine Sunday Telegram story about the 2010 Maine growing season.  The story notes that farmers and gardeners donated more than 200,000 pounds of produce through Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program.  That’s more than double last year’s yield of 87,319 pounds.

UMaine Extension’s Harvest for Hunger Program Doubled 2010 Harvest

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Barbara Murphy distributes Harvest for the Hungry produce; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDAThe numbers are in and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger Program this year surpassed by more than 56.3 tons — or 112,687 pounds — the 87,319 pounds of fresh garden produce donated to charity last year by volunteer gardeners around the state.

Volunteer gardeners in 13 counties this year donated 200,006 pounds, or 100 tons, of vegetables and fruit, which included nearly 9 tons of potatoes, to food pantries, shelters and charitable organizations around the state, according to a jubilant Extension educator Barbara Murphy in the South Paris Oxford County office. Murphy oversees the program, renamed this year from “Plant-A-Row for the Hungry” to “Maine Harvest for the Hungry.”

That’s 112,687 pounds more than the 2010 goal of 125,000 pounds of fresh produce.

“Extension volunteers, with the support of Extension employees, produce and gather fresh fruit and vegetables for distribution to 45 Maine food pantries and soup kitchens,” Murphy says. “We asked for an extra effort this year to attempt to meet the growing need, and our volunteer gardeners really came through. We couldn’t be more excited.”

The Maine Harvest for Hunger program engages nearly 200 highly committed Master Gardener volunteers across the state in growing, gleaning and distributing food for Maine residents with limited finances or resources to buy fresh produce.

Murphy has worked to raise awareness of the opportunity for backyard gardeners and others to “plant an extra row” to donate to one of many drop-off locations in Maine. She says the program is growing, but needs to grow more.

“Local farmers are critical to the effort and donate thousands of pounds to the project,” Murphy says.

Donated fruits and vegetables increase in volume each year, as does the number of gardeners participating in the program. So, too, Murphy says, does the need. Since 2000, volunteers have now raised, gathered and donated almost 452 tons of fresh produce to the Extension charitable gardening program.

For information and details on future participation, Murphy can be reached by e-mail at Barbara.murphy@maine.edu or by telephone at 1-800-287-1482 in Maine.

The charitable garden harvest program was the 2010 winner of the Steven Gould Award for Service to the University.