When money is tight and families struggle to put food on the table, fresh herbs and vegetables can often be an expensive luxury.
That’s when some master gardeners in Clackamas County step in, by offering free garden-fresh produce to those in need.
For its work toward providing produce to locals, Grow an Extra Row is the latest recipient of the FOX 12 Les Schwab Tire Centers Be the Change award.
Eve Freeman and Nancy Muir know their way around a garden.
And even though they're the ones putting in the hard work, the harvest coming out of the 5,000-square-foot garden won't end up on their tables.
"All of the produce that we raise is donated to two of the local food pantries and a couple senior centers,” Freeman told FOX 12.
Freeman, Muir and dozens of other volunteers plant, weed, water and prune all the produce for the Grow an Extra Row program on the Clackamas Community College campus.
Backed by Clackamas County master gardeners, for 14 years now volunteers have been raising veggies and donating them to local food pantries like the ones at the First Presbyterian Church and First Baptist Church in Oregon City.
"We're told from the food pantries it's the first thing to go because it's fresh. We pick it and we deliver it,” Muir said.
The group rents plots at the garden and tends to over 30 rows of vegetables.
"Last year, we did 3,800 pounds during the season, and it's a wide variety of different veggies."
Also in 2017, 35 volunteers put in over 1,000 hours in the garden. And they do it to make a difference in their own back yard.
Grow an Extra Row volunteers work in the garden on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and people don't have to be an experienced gardener to take part.
Learn more about Grow an Extra Row on its website.
To nominate a person or group deserving of the Be the Change award, please go to KPTV.com/BeTheChange.
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