By Carrera Romanini
I love to spend time in my garden. I find it doubly satisfying to share with others in need. With the Grow More, Give More (GMGM) program, I can do both.
GMGM and the UT Farmer’s Market opened earlier this month, celebrating the growing season and sharing with others. GMGM is a UT Institute of Agriculture and Society of St. Andrew service project designed to bring fresh, local produce to our neighbors in need. Agencies that feed the hungry indicate that their organizations have a need to supplement their canned donations with fresh veggies. A secondary aim of this program is to reduce food waste.
How do you GMGM?
Each week, GMGM volunteers talk to market-goers about the program and collect produce donations. To participate in the program, plant a little extra in your garden or pick up an extra pound or two at the farmer’s market. GMGM has a booth set up where you can bring your produce, chat with volunteers and learn where your donation will go that night. At the end of each Wednesday, volunteers take the donated produce to local food banks. Examples of organizations that we have donated to include Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries, Love Kitchen, Salvation Army, Samaritan Place and many others.
Where You Can Find Us
GMGM runs in conjunction with the UT Farmer’s Market, each Wednesday from 4–7 p.m., May 11 through Oct. 19, 2016. You can find us under the big green tent. The market is held in the UT Gardens, the official botanical gardens for the state of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive in Knoxville.
If you would like to volunteer or learn more about the program, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or like us on Facebook. You also can follow the GMGM blog to see where the day’s produce was donated and to see photo updates and the weekly total of donations received.
Let’s Work Together
No donation is too small because it all adds up! We’ve received donations from the most delicate of herbs to rare vegetables and handfuls of cherry tomatoes, up to bushel baskets of tomatoes, whole watermelons, bags of green beans and everything in between. Last season, we collected 2,230 pounds, which equates to 6,690 servings of fresh produce donated to our hungry neighbors. This summer, set a goal for yourself to spend more time outside, plant a little more in your garden for those in need and share the bounty of your harvest through the Grow More, Give More program.
Carrera Romanini Contact
UT Institute of Agriculture
Carrera is a Grow More, Give More volunteer who likes to explore all that Knoxville has to offer and to spend time with friends. When she’s not out and about, you can find her in the garden or kitchen. She and her husband live with two, four-legged friends (a cat and dog), and they foster retired racing greyhounds. She currently serves as the communications coordinator for AgResearch.