Goehring adresses hunger in N.D.Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and representatives of eight organizations announced Wednesday the start of a Hunger-Free North Dakota Garden Project.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and representatives of eight organizations announced Wednesday the start of a Hunger-Free North Dakota Garden Project.
“A major objective of the local food initiative of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture was addressing the issue of hunger in our state,” Goehring said at a Wednesday news conference. “The goal of the garden project is to grow and distribute a half million pounds of fresh food to needy individuals and communities without sources of fresh produce in our state during 2010.”
Other agencies and organizations participating in the project are the Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota Coalition, Dakota College at Bottineau Center for Horticulture, Healthy North Dakota, Lutheran Social Services Great Plains Food Bank, North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, North Dakota State University Extension Service, Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society and Pride of Dakota Companies.
“This project will help raise the awareness of North Dakotans to the very real problem of hunger in our state,” Goehring said.
He said the project will enlist volunteers to provide land, fundraising, equipment and time to produce and distribute the food.
“This is an opportunity for everyone in North Dakota to make a difference helping others,” he said. “We will be looking for people to promote the program, to plant, tend and harvest the gardens, to distribute the produce and to help people better use it in their diets.”
The Hunger-Free North Dakota Garden Project will not only reach out to individuals and families in need, but also to communities that have no ready access to fresh food.
“There is limited fresh food available to food pantries, especially in more isolated areas,” Goehring said. “We want to supplement the diets of people who rely on those sources with fresh fruits and vegetables. The program also aims to improve diets through education in cooking, canning and nutrition.”
In addition to growing and distributing 500,000 pounds of fresh food, Goehring said the garden project will help NDDA estimate current vegetable production in the state outside registered acres.