In its inaugural year, Westfield’s Plant A Row for the Hungry program experienced great success.
It generated hundreds of pounds of food for Third Phase Food Bank, and members from throughout the community have participated. Almost 300 pounds of fresh vegetables were donated through drop-offs at Ameriana Bank, and at least one local gardener took 85 pounds of vegetables from her garden directly to Third Phase.
“We are so excited about people who have responded to us,” Plant A Row organizer Kathleen Gray said. “It’s such a community event … To go from a brainstorming session in February to the Plant A Row idea and to watch people respond: it’s just really exciting. I just love it.”
To show appreciation to this year’s growers and encourage even greater participation for next year, Plant A Row organizers have organized a harvest celebration with the help of program sponsor Ameriana Bank.
“Ameriana Bank has been our primary sponsor for Plant A Row … and they invited us to [hold that celebration]in conjunction with their Fall Festival, which is great,” Gray said.
The celebration will include recognition of a variety of organizations and individuals for their contributions toward the 2010 program. Among those to be recognized will be the Westfield police detectives and Christ United Methodist Church for their donation of plants and garden space.
“We’ll also recognize Ameriana Bank,” Gray said. “The employees there have been great volunteers; they’ve gone out and helped us plant and weed throughout the summer.”
The festival itself is a one-day, family-friendly event. It runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Ameriana branch at 3333 East State Road 32. Festivities will include a chili cook-off, bounce houses, an obstacle course, and crafts and activities for kids. There is no charge to attend. For more information, call 867-7740.