Growing Fall Vegetables and Sharing the Bounty

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased in the United States. This is particularly true for households with young children. Food insecurity occurs when a household has difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of resources.

Many of us who grow fall gardens enjoy an alphabet of vegetables from arugula, bush beans, and broccoli, to winter squash, often with harvests to spare. In the traditional garden we tend to plant the way our forefathers did when multiple generations were living at home, which is often no longer the case.

Even if you don’t have the land for a large, traditional garden with long rows to cultivate, growing vegetables in container gardens in the fall and winter can keep your kitchen prospering. A sunny spot, the right soil, and size appropriate varieties can start your adventure in producing delicious food for the table.

It seems like a good fit to share the bounty with the growing number of families that are facing food insecurity today. There are options in our area to do just that through a number of food pantries and food ministries in Lee County. If your gardening success results in excess abundance that you’d like to donate contact a local agency to see if they can use it. Often the hours of a particular organization vary, so call first. Below is a partial list of emergency food providers and you can find more at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina website.

  • Christians United Outreach Center of Lee County· (919) 774-8485
  • Bread of Life Ministries (919) 777-7233
  • Food Distribution Center – Body Of Christ Ministry (919) 774-6134
  • The Salvation Army of Lee County (919) 718-1717
  • Food Distribution Center – Abundant Life Ministry (919) 775-2385
  • Christian Faith Ministries Inc (919) 499-3194
  • Food Distribution Center – Removing Mountains Ministries (919) 324-6652
  • Five N Two Food Pantry (919) 499-0369
  • Faith Hope Deliverance (919) 591-4721
  • Bread Basket of Sanford· (919) 774-3118
  • United Way of Lee County, Inc. (919) 776-5823
  • Lee County Social Services Department (919) 718-4690
  • Ministerios Bethel Inc (919) 478-6285
  • Bread Basket/Sanford Soup (919) 774-3118
  • New Life Fellowship Church Food Pantry (919) 499-5316

For more information on how to get the best results from your garden efforts, contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office.

Minda Daughtry is the Horticulture Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.