Gardeners donate record vegetable haul to local food pantries

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Fresh food like fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by for those in need. Since 2014, Basin Electric Power Cooperative has planted a garden to help bring produce to communities. Typically, the co-op grows food in a garden on campus, but due to the pandemic, employee volunteers garden at home.

Now, they’ve brought in the fruits of their labor to weigh. They’ve totaled more than 67.6 pounds of vegetables Tuesday and have gathered more than 1000 pounds of produce this year, which they say is a record.

Organizers credit volunteers for stepping up to the plate.

“[Organizers say] ‘Oh if you have some extra, we can really use it. And here’s what you can do with it.’ And it is convenient and amazing and helpful. Having those stories, every week we got an update of where donations were going, I think that really helps keep employees engaged in the effort to be continuously generous,” said Shauna Laber, senior right of way agent at Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Laber said because she’s been gardening at home, the initiative has become a family affair and her daughter has joined in the “veggie taxi” to drop off produce at local food pantries.

The co-op donates the food through the Hunger Free North Dakota program.

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