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Plant a Row, Harvest a Row

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        
Beth Cummings
Communications & Public Relations Manager
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Mare Simpler
Health Promotions Specialist
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Plant a Row, Harvest a Row

Catholic Charities is looking for a few good gardeners.

As seed and plant catalogs are delivered to area residents, the non-profit is reminding Central Minnesotans that a garden can be another way to give back to the community. Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf and Senior Dining locations can accept donations of fresh produce. This includes area Meals on Wheel programs.
“At Senior Dining, we call the program, Plant A Row, Harvest A Row,” said Mare Simpler, Catholic Charities Health Promotions Specialist. “Adding just an extra packet of seeds or a plant or two to your garden can make a real difference.”

The produce is shared with food shelf clients to take home and feed their families. It’s also used by cooks at Catholic Charities Senior Dining to make casseroles, soups, salads, wraps, dessert sauces, steamed vegetables and veggie bar items. Abundant items, such as tomatoes, are frozen for later use.

“The most important outcome for these programs is feeding residents healthy and nutritious food,” said Simpler. In 2015, Catholic Charities expanded the Plant a Row/Harvest a Row program to all 60 of its Senior Dining Sites across Central Minnesota and have recorded over 10,000 servings of fruits and vegetables to Catholic Charities Meals on Wheels and congregate diners.

Simpler said “One woman in Milaca told me that the fruits and vegetables she received have made it easier to manage their diabetes.”
In March of 2015, Rejuv Medical became a business community partner, creating a Community Giving Garden on its property in Waite Park. At the end of the growing season, more than 270 pounds of produce was delivered to the Catholic Charities Senior Dinning Site at the Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud. Since the program is so successful, Catholic Charities will be looking for other potential business partners for future Community Giving Gardens. 
To Give:
  • Catholic Charities has Senior Dining locations across Central Minnesota. Visit www.ccstcloud.org for locations. Contact your local site coordinator to donate.
  • Catholic Charities Emergency Services accepts produce at 157 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud. Donations are accepted at Door D, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays until 6 p.m.
  • To become a Community Giving Gardens partner, contact Mare Simpler at 320.229.4591.
Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization that advances the charitable and social mission of the Diocese of St. Cloud. It builds communities, promotes family life, and enhances human dignity by providing quality services to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families of all faiths and beliefs.