2011 Search for Excellence Community Service Award Winners- 1st Place

Seed2Need- The Corrales Food Pantry Project- Sandoval County, NM

The Sandoval County, New Mexico Master Gardeners received the first place award in the Community Service Category at the International Master Gardener conference in October in West Virginia.

Master Gardeners transplant tomato seedlings to go into the garden.

Seed2Need is a collaborative effort between the Sandoval County Master Gardeners (SCMG) and local property owners.  Our mission is to address hunger in our community by growing fresh produce for our local food pantries. Participating property owners provide the land, electricity and irrigation water.  SCMG volunteers make up our core group of volunteers.

Volunteers address hunger issues in  their communities

We also receive help from friends, neighbors, family members, scout troops, 4-H, church groups, private individuals and from several food pantries.  Funding is donated by local businesses.  In order to make these donations tax deductable, Seed2Need was organized as a project under the fiscal sponsorship of an existing non-profit.  Crops are selected based on interviews with the food pantries, nutritional value, productivity and length of harvest.

In 2011, 45,200 lbs of produce donated to food pantries

One days harvest ready to go to the local food pantry.

In 2010, we grew 30,700 pounds of  produce on 8/10 acre.  In 2011,  our gardens were expanded to 1 1/2 acres and our total harvest was 45,200 pounds.  During peak harvest, we donated produce to ten food pantries in Sandoval and Bernalillo Counties.

According to a recent Census Bureau report, New Mexico ranks 2nd in the nation in terms of poverty and 5th in terms of food insecurity.  51% of our food pantries report turning people away to lack of food.  Federal and state funding has been cut and charitable contributions are down 8% nationwide. Hunger is a serious problem in our country. The need is great… and as Master Gardeners, we can help . . . one garden at a time.

 

For more information, e-mail Seed2Need@gmail.com or see Facebook page Seed2Need

Written by Pamela Davis, Sandoval County New Mexico Master Gardener

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