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Gardeners to Make a Difference for Area Hunger

May 18th, 2010

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Contact: Keri Penick
University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Augusta

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program launched the 2010 Kennebec Area Plant-A-Row Challenge on May 1st in communities throughout Kennebec County.

This program is a public service campaign that encourages citizens to dedicate a part of their garden to grow produce for local food pantry donation.  To participate in the challenge, enrolled volunteers can donate produce from their own gardens or participate in a community garden already growing fresh vegetables for donation.

The goal of the challenge is to provide 12,000 pounds of produce to food pantries throughout the Kennebec area.  Gardeners who sign up receive more detailed information and ongoing support throughout the season.  Interested volunteers may enroll online by visiting the Kennebec County Extension website or by telephone 207-622-7546, or 1-800-287-1481.  The deadline to enroll is Friday, May 28th, 2010.

Behind the efforts for this public service campaign includes commitment from dedicated Master Gardener Volunteers and Kennebec County Cooperative Extension Staff.  Keri Penick is an AmeriCorps*VISTA for the Extension and her AmeriCorps goals include raising awareness of food security issues and how area gardeners can help.  For volunteer opportunities with the Master Gardner program, visit is a free, web-based, state-wide link between agencies looking for volunteers and people interested in volunteering.  The VolunteerMaine Partnership, which consists of state, non-profit, public, and private agencies, was formed to promote volunteerism and meet the needs of local volunteer programs so they can effectively respond to critical local needs.