With the growing season in full swing in the Lehigh Valley, it’s also time for another horticultural ground to get underway.
Plant a Row — a program that allows home gardeners to donate some of their bounty to others — launches June 12. It is the seventh season of the program.
Here’s how it works: Local gardeners can donate what they grow to support local food banks. You can either designate a number of their garden for donations or simply donate overflow. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still help the program by donating what you buy at the grocery store, your CSA, or the farmer’s market and dropping it off at one of Plant a Row’s collection points. Volunteers collect the donations received and transport them to food supplies, meal centers, soup kitchens and emergency shelters in the area.
This year, the program includes 326 registered gardens, 21 dispensaries and 25 recipient organizations.
What you cannot eat or use helps others in the valley. Feeding America defines food insecurity as “the lack of consistent access to enough food for each person in a household to lead an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a household or it can last for a long time. Lehigh County has an overall food insecurity rate of 10%; Northampton County is 8.6%.
Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank – Operating year-round, 417 N, 14th St., Allentown, PA 18102, (610) 821-1332. Call when you arrive and someone will come out to help you. Benefits: Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank; Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.; 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.
Allentown rescue mission – Operating year-round, 355 Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101; Donations are accepted at any time. Park in front of the mission. There is a sign with the phone number to call to drop off donations. Someone will come out to take your donations. Achievements: Allentown rescue mission
Betty Lou’s pantry – in operation all year round; 333 Oxford Street, Coopersburg, PA 18036; Perks: Betty Lou’s pantry; 8 to 8:30 second and fourth Saturday
Emmaus Community Garden, Robert Rodale Way, Emmaus, PA 18049; Services: Bethel Bible Fellowship Church food bank, Casa Guadalupe in Allentown and Lutheran Church food bank in Zionsville; after 6:30 p.m., Sunday until 10:00 a.m. Monday.
Emmaus Public Library, 11 E. Main St., Emmaus, PA 18049; Services: Bethel Bible Fellowship Church food bank, Casa Guadalupe in Allentown and Lutheran Church food bank in Zionsville; after 6:30 p.m., Sunday until 10:00 a.m. Monday.
Jordan Lutheran Church (new location), 5103 Snowdrift Road, Orefield, PA 18069; Note: The cooler is on the pavement under the awning at the double door entrance on Snowdrift Road; Services: Jordanian Lutheran Pantry; Sundays before the first and third Monday.
Lehigh County Community Garden – Cedarbrook – Backup driver required; Cedarbrook Road, South Whitehall, PA 18104; Note: Cedarbrook Road is off Dorney Park Road. Enter Cedarbrook Complex, bear right. The gardens are behind the maintenance building. Benefits: Pantry of Ministers of Everlasting Life, Allentown; before 5 p.m. on Thursdays
Lehigh Community Garden – Jordan Creek Parkway – Backup driver required; Lehnert Road, Whitehall, PA 18052; Note: Scherersville Road becomes Lehnert Road; Benefits: Everlasting Life Ministries Food Pantry, Allentown; before 5 p.m. on Thursdays
Lehigh Valley Home & Garden Center, 4220 Crackersport Road, Allentown, PA 18104; Services: Sixth Street Shelter, Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
new Tripoli, 7724 Carpet Road, New Tripoli, PA 18066; Note: Place donations in the red truck at the end of the driveway. Services: Lowhill Food Pantry at Christ’s Church and St. Peter’s United Methodist Church; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays
St. Ann’s Knights of Columbus Garden of Mercy – Backup driver required; Church of St. Ann, 415 S. 6th St., Emmaus, PA 18049; Benefits: New Bethany Ministries, Greater Shiloh Church Food Pantry (Bethlehem Campus) and Whitehall Food Pantry at St. Stephen’s Church; Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m
Lutheran Church of St. John, 1028 Church Street, Fogelsville, PA 18051; Services: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Food Pantry, Trexlertown; Mondays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
Southern Lehigh Public Library, 3200 Preston Lane, Middle Valley, 18034; Achievements: Allentown rescue mission; Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
Willow Lane Elementary School, 6135 Sauerkraut Lane, Macungie, PA 18062; Services: Sixth Street Shelter; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays
County of Northampton
Bethlehem Region Public Library – Coolidge Branch (new location) – Backup driver required; 2740 Fifth St., Bethlehem, PA 18020; Note: The cooler is located on the front porch. Benefits: Cay Galgon Life Center, Hispanic Center, Lehigh Valley and the Nehemiah Wall; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays
Bethlehem-Main Region Public Library – Backup driver required, 11 W. Church St., Bethlehem, PA 18018; Services: Cay Galgon Life Center, Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley and the Nehemiah Wall; Note: The cooler is located in the library opposite the circulation desk on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m
Diefenderf community garden – Backup driver required; 6300 Hanoverville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017; Achievements: Allentown rescue mission; before 1 p.m. on Wednesdays
Community Center Hanover (new location) – Backup driver required; 3660 Jacksonville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017; Achievements: Allentown rescue mission; Note: The cooler is on the bench in the front entrance; from Tuesday 3 p.m. to Wednesday 1 p.m
Louise W Moore Park (Pickup day has changed) – Replacement driver required; Louise Moore Park, Easton, PA 18045; Benefits: Safe Harbor and Greater Shiloh Church (Easton campus); before 10 a.m. on Fridays
New Bethany Ministries – pantry – in operation all year round; 380 Shawnee St., Bethlehem, PA 18015; Note: Shawnee is a possibility; Enter by turning into the CVS parking lot from Broadway and turn left onto Shawnee (the alleyway behind CVS). One block down Shawnee turns left, park right here. Signs say “Cathedral Parking”. You will not be towed. Staff are available at the pantry (blue building) to help you unload. Pros: New Bethany Ministries; 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm Monday to Friday.
Pot This, LLC (new place); 1124 Center St., Bethlehem, PA 18018; Note: Place donations in coolers on the porch. Services: Cay Galgon Life Center, Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley and the Nehemiah Wall; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
St Luke’s Anderson Community Garden, 1872 St. Luke’s Boulevard, Easton, PA 18045; Note: The community garden is behind the hospital complex. Benefits: Safe Harbor and Greater Shiloh Church (Easton campus); before 10 a.m. on Thursdays
Lutheran Trinity Church, 323 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18020; Note: The garbage can is by the benches near the parking lot door. Benefits: Nazareth Area Food Bank; Sundays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m
These are websites that contribute to the program but are not places that accept donations:
Lehigh University Community Garden – Backup driver required; Goodman Campus; Pros: Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley;
The Lutheran Home in Topton; Services: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Food Pantry, Trexlertown;
Willow Haven Farm – shared driver/backup driver required, New Tripoli; Benefits: Grace Lutheran Church Food Cupboard, Macungie and The Bread Ministry of Emmaus.
The program especially needs volunteer drivers. Email: email@example.com if interested.
To register your garden for Plant a Row: https://plantarowlv.org/