Giving Garden Helps Fill Pantries' Need for Better Nutrition

By Daday, Eileen O. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 13, 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Giving Garden Helps Fill Pantries' Need for Better Nutrition


Daday, Eileen O., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent By Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

Food pantries are evolving as the need from families and individuals hit hard by the recession continues to grow.

What once were backrooms filled with shelves of canned goods and nonperishable food items gradually has turned into more of a shopping experience for patrons, who fill grocery bags themselves as they choose what food items they would like.

With that trend comes another upgrade in the model; food pantries are becoming more like markets as they receive more fresh fruits and vegetables from local gardeners.

For more than 10 years, the Daily Herald has encouraged local gardeners to open up their yards -- and their hearts -- to the less fortunate by participating in its Giving Garden program. The campaign encourages donations of fresh produce to area food pantries.

This summer's program begins this weekend and runs through the end of September, with more than 50 food pantries across Cook, Lake, Kane, DuPage and McHenry counties, eager to accept the summer's harvest.

"It's absolutely great," says Debbie Walusiak of the Des Plaines Self-Help Pantry. "We really depend on it to help feed our families."

With the weakened economy, pantry officials across the suburbs are seeing numbers soaring, consequently they are relying on gardeners to help them provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to families struggling to make ends meet.

Take the food pantry operated by officials with Cuba Township in Barrington. They have developed a "market" once a week, which they set up in the township boardroom.

That's when they offer fresh produce to clients, as well as surplus items from Trader Joe's and Panera.

"We display everything in baskets," says Kate Formichella. "We always have meat, bread, cheeses, salads and fresh produce, supplied in part by the people from The Smart Farm in Barrington.

"We do it up big," Formichella adds. "It's really taken off; we're swamped."

Being able to provide fresh food -- over and above the non-perishables they take pre-orders for every month -- was the catalyst.

More and more, food pantry coordinators see their role as not only providing basic food items to help people get by, but they are taking responsibility for ramping up the nutritional needs of their clientele.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Giving Garden Helps Fill Pantries' Need for Better Nutrition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?