Not sure what to do with your extra zucchini squash this season? Interested in helping those who may be experiencing food insecurity with your own Victory Garden? If so, please consider growing extra produce to those in need as part of the University of Idaho’s Extension, Teton Valley Master Gardeners and 4-H “Grow-a-Row” garden produce donation program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified economic hardship in our community. Even prior to the health crisis and perhaps more today, the U.S. Economic Policy Institute named Teton County Idaho and Wyoming as the region with the largest economic inequality in the nation. With rising costs of living and over 40 percent of Teton County, Idaho working households living with less than the necessary income required to fund the five basic household necessities (housing, child care, food, transportation and health care), our local Extension office and Master Gardeners are working with nonprofit partners to tackle the issue of food access and hunger.

Since 2017, 4-H Youth and volunteers have donated over 150 pounds of produce grown in our “4-H Giving Garden” and home gardens to the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley (CRCTV) as part of the CRCTV’s food rescue and hunger relief efforts. To increase access to fresh, healthy, and locally produced food for those in-need, we encourage gardeners and farmers in our community to donate extra garden bounty to combine with our 4-H garden donation efforts.

For those interested in participating in this “Grow-a-Row” produce donation program, pre-washed garden fruits, vegetables and herbs can be dropped off during the following times at the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley at 1420 N Hwy 33, Suite 204, Driggs.

“Grow-a-Row” drop off times: Mondays 11-11:15 am, Wednesdays 4-4:15 pm, and Fridays 9-9:15 am.

These hours will allow for the freshest produce to be delivered to those in need. Packaging the produce in reasonable serving sized bags would also be greatly appreciated. Please call Master Gardener Volunteer Julia Scheller at 951-255-5783 with any questions.

The University of Idaho Extension and Teton County 4-H program would like to thank the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and Teton Springs Foundation for grants helping to support our 4-H agriculture and food donation efforts, as well as the following businesses who have helped with our 4-H Giving Garden and Extension landscaping needs whether financially or in-kind over the years: MD Nursery and Landscaping, Valley Lumber, Trail Creek Nursery, Silver Star Communications, and Church of the Tetons.

About the University of Idaho:

The University of Idaho is one of only 72 land-grant research universities across the country. Home to nearly 12,000 students, the UI is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. University of Idaho Cooperative Extension offers research-based educational programs and publications in the areas of agriculture, community development and family and consumer science. Learn more at www.uidaho.edu.

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