What is Grow More, Give More?
 
Grow More, Give More is a service project of the UT Institute of Agriculture focused on feeding the hungry locally with an aim to reduce food waste. Through various collection points, UTIA will collect extra, donated, or near-expiration produce. This produce will then be provided to the Society of St. Andrew, which has partnered with the institute on this initiative. Volunteers with the Society of St. Andrews will distribute donated produce to local organizations who provide food to the hungry.      
 
What is the need?
 
Agencies that feed the hungry say they have a real need for donations of fresh produce, as these are invaluable for providing healthy, nutritious meals to the people they serve. In Tennessee it is estimated 840,000 people go hungry every year, and many of these are our own neighbors.
 
How can I help?
 
Plant extra in your garden this year and bring your produce to collection points at the UT Institute of Agriculture. If you don’t have a garden, consider purchasing and giving produce from stores and markets, including the UT Farmers Market, which will serve as the main collection point for donated produce.
 
How else can I help?
 
Become a volunteer in this effort. You can serve by monitoring produce donation stations and picking up and delivering produce. If you are willing to be a volunteer, please email gmgm@tennessee.edu.
 
When should I bring my donations?
 
Starting in June, volunteers will collect donated produce each Wednesday, coinciding with the UT Farmers Market in the UT Gardens. The drive will continue to final Farmers Market of the year on October 23.
 
Where do I take my donations?
 
Initially, collection areas will be located on the agricultural campus in Knoxville. The chief collection point will be at the UT Farmers Market, with additional points set up in several campus buildings to serve employees. These points will be publicized as the drive’s kickoff nears.
 
Is there a minimum quantity for donations?
 
Even a handful of cherry tomatoes is valuable and will serve the hungry, so bring what you can. You make a difference with every little bit of food. All donations are welcome and valued in this effort.
 
What types of produce can I bring?
 
Any type of produce is happily accepted. Since produce will potentially be kept in a collection bin all day prior to volunteers picking it up, produce that does not wilt, rot or attract fruit flies is especially welcomed. Examples include:
Potatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peas or dried beans (still in the pod), bulb onions, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, watermelons, radishes, beets, turnips, apples and pears, herbs.
Do you accept nonperishable items?
 
Canned and packaged foods purchased from stores or surplus, if you are a business, are very welcome.
 
Who will receive my donated produce?
 
The donated food will be given to local organizations to use or distribute. A few of these include, but are not limited to:
Angelic Ministries, Fish Pantries, Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries, Ladies of Charity, Love Kitchen, Positive Living, Salvation Army, Volunteer Ministry Center, Water Angels and Wesley House Community Center.
How does the produce get delivered?
 
Volunteers will collect the produce from the UT Gardens during the UT Farmers Market and take it to distribution points to feed the hungry.
 
Who is the Society of St. Andrew?
 
The Society of St. Andrew is an ecumenical, nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to faith and service. Since 1983, the Society of St. Andrew has salvaged fresh, nutritious produce from American farms — produce that otherwise would be left to rot — and delivered it to agencies across the nation that serve the poor. For more information, call Linda Tozer, program coordinator for the Tennessee Gleaning Network at 615-878-9233 or gleantn@endhunger.org. You may also visit the website, http://www.endhunger.org.
 
What happens if donated produce is past the acceptable date for human consumption?
 
This produce drive aims for zero-waste. Food that is past the point for human consumption is donated to the zoo for the animals.
 
Are food agencies charged a fee for the food?
 
No, all food will be donated free of charge, with the motto, “freely given, freely given away.”
 
Contacts for more information:
Grow More, Give More co-chairs:
 
Amy Caponetti               
Human Resources Coordinator       
AgResearch                   
865-974-4506, acap@tennessee.edu   
 
Jean Hulsey
Assistant Director, Creative Services
UTIA Marketing and Communications
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