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Help make an impact, volunteer with America’s Grow a Row

By Hunterdon County Democrat
on June 23, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Think it’s hard to improve the lives of others less fortunate than you? America’s Grow-A-Row makes helping others very accessible.

On the first day of summer vacation with overcast skies and a slight drizzle of rain, Senior Girl Scout Troop 80462 visited America’s Grow a Row in Pittstown.

The, staff educator Sally Zeiner, gave the troop a lesson about the issue of food insecurity in New Jersey. It’s hard to believe that 1.2 million New Jersey residents struggle to find enough food on a daily basis.

After the lesson, the girls went out to the fields to plant cabbages on the farm. The seven Scouts were able to plant 840 cabbage plants, more than100 plants per person. When harvested, the food will go to community food banks to provide 13,440 servings of cabbage to families who are food insecure. Food insecure is a term meaning that these families may not know when they will receive their next meal, or that they often have to skip meals in order to have the money to pay for other necessities, such as electricity, heat, rent, or medicine. One in five children in New Jersey are food insecure.

America’s Grow a Row is a nonprofit organization that delivers produce throughout the state of New Jersey to communities that are considered food deserts or food swamps.

Food deserts are locations where there is no access to a grocery store or food market (with fresh fruit or vegetables) anywhere in a 10-mile drive or a one-mile walk. A food swamp is where the area is oversaturated with fast food restaurants, and no fresh produce is available for purchase.

America’s Grow a Row’s mission is to help people in these situations receive the healthy food they need. So far they have donated 3,762,659 pounds of produce to local food pantries around the state. Volunteer opportunities are available to anyone, visitwww.americasgrowarow.com to learn more about when you can visit and help out. Additionally, America’s Grow a Row offers multiple educational programs to inform people of all ages about how to eat well and help others in their communities to receive the fresh, healthy food they need.

These Girl Scouts have completed their “Sow What” journey. Steps to the Gold Award, the Journey Program requires Girl Scouts to reach out to the community, look for opportunities to improve the lives of others and take action. Part of the solution to alleviate hunger is to educate or inspire others to do service work. The Girls Scouts from Troop 80462, Heart Of New Jersey Council, hope you read this article and volunteer at America’s Grow A Row to help combat hunger in New Jersey.