Information provided by CSU Extension
Are you a backyard gardener with a heart for your community? As you tend to your crops this year, please consider sharing some of your yield for the fourth season of Grow & Give.
Grow & Give volunteers grow and donate fresh fruits and vegetables for statewide distribution to people in need. The program began as a project of the Colorado Master Gardener Program, a program of CSU Extension. Today, participation is open to any Colorado gardener.
Modeled after backyard victory gardens that boosted food supplies and morale during World Wars I and II, the project sprouted in Spring 2020 in response to skyrocketing food needs among people coping with unemployment and other pandemic hardships.
It was so successful in its first season that Grow & Give returned with a broader goal of boosting food security in Colorado communities beyond the needs of the pandemic.
In 2022, hundreds of volunteer gardeners signed up across the state to donate 32,403 pounds of fresh produce. In Douglas County, 54 donations of everything from herbs, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and berries went to feed families in need.
The fresh fruits and vegetables went to food banks, pantries, homeless shelters, and other nonprofits for distribution to individuals and families facing hunger and food shortages.
The number of participants and food donations is expected to continue. Already in 2023, gardeners are beginning to sign up in Douglas County and across the state to donate early-season produce like leafy greens and radishes.
To support backyard gardeners, the Colorado Master Gardener Program offers:
- An up-to-date website, growandgivecolorado.org, with print and video resources about growing and donating vegetables.
- A free, 85-page Colorado Vegetable Guide available for download in English and Spanish. The guide offers crop-by-crop guidance for gardeners.
- A new mobile app that connects gardeners to hunger-relief organizations. It’s offered in partnership with the Colorado nonprofit Fresh Food Connect.
For more information, gardening resources, and to volunteer with Grow & Give, visit growandgivecolorado.org