'Plant a Row' Grows Into Successful Program

This summer, Jewish Family Service was able to provide an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to Food Pantry clients courtesy of the “Plant a Row” program. 

“It’s been great, almost overwhelming, how much food JFS was able to take in,” said Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper, community impact coordinator. “Our Food Pantry clients were thrilled not only to receive fresh produce, but to receive amounts suitable for a whole family.” 

In the past, due to a lack of proper refrigeration and limitations in delivery times, a large family might have received one tomato. Now, they can get three or four, as well as enough kale or okra to make a salad. 

A new partnership with the JCC has been essential to this success as well; the JCC graciously served as a drop-off location for produce, including times when the JFS office is closed. The combination of the new refrigerators and the JCC partnership has been “wonderful” in guiding this new produce initiative, Axelrod-Cooper said.

“It exceeded my expectations for the amount of food that was able to come in and the number of volunteers, drivers and staff who helped make this experience possible,” she added. 

While many donations came from Monocacy Farm and Rodale Farm, people from around the community also brought in produce from their own gardens and from grocery stores and farmers markets. 

On behalf of our clients, we would like to thank all of our volunteers, donors and partners for making this project a huge success!

We will continue to accept donations of fresh produce all year long! Items may be dropped off at the JFS office during regular business hours or at the JCC front desk.

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