Thank you to everyone who has shown their support for our Grow-A-Row initiative already this year! Because of you, our clients get to enjoy fresh, nutritious produce in their spring and summer meals. We have been getting quite a few questions regarding Grow-A-Row, so we are going to go over a few of them today. Here are the answers to the most common questions we have received!
1. Where do I donate my homegrown produce?
Homegrown produce donations can be dropped off at the Edmonton Meals on Wheels office (11111 103 Ave) between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. If the front door is locked, please use our kitchen entrance on the southeast side of the building. Just let yourself in, and a staff member or volunteer will be there to take care of your donation.
2. Can you pick up my homegrown produce donation?
Unfortunately, we are unable to pick up homegrown produce donations. We understand that this may be a hindrance for some, but we simply do not have the capacity to do so without interfering with our regular operations. Picking up Grow-A-Row donations from around the city would be a huge time commitment, and we are limited by the number of Volunteer Delivery Drivers we have.
If you have homegrown produce but are unable to drop it off, we suggest looking into other local organizations who may be able to help! Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton is an awesome example. At your request, this organization will send volunteers to your residence to pick fruit. For more information, visit their website at https://operationfruitrescue.org.
3. Do you accept all types of homegrown produce?
Although we accept almost all types of homegrown produce, there are a few limitations. We do not accept fruit that is only used for jams or jellies, such as crab apples. As well, we only accept apples that have been picked from the tree. When apples have fallen to the ground, they often bruise or get damaged by insects. We want to ensure our clients receive high-quality meals, so we ask that you do not donate apples if they have been picked from the ground.
4. Should I prepare my produce before donating it?
Absolutely not! You don’t need to wash, peel, or chop your garden grown produce before donating it. In fact, we prefer if produce donations are dropped off with minimal processing. We have Volunteer Kitchen Helpers that come in on a regular basis, and this is one of their main duties. We only ask that you trim your produce if it has excess stems, flowers, or roots.
5. How will my homegrown produce donation be used?
Your homegrown produce donation will be used to make unique, seasonal dishes for our clients, without the extra cost! Our Chef plans the menu based on recent Grow-A-Row donations. This ensures our clients are getting the freshest garden produce in their meals! Grow-A-Row donations also allow our kitchen to get creative! Homegrown produce is used in a variety of desserts, entrees, sauces, and side dishes. Strawberry rhubarb crisp, sour cherry chicken, and fresh garden salad are just a few examples!
6. If I don’t have a garden, can I donate store-bought produce?
We appreciate your support for our Grow-A-Row initiative, but unfortunately, we are unable to accept store-bought produce donations. In order to adhere to health and safety standards, we can only accept homegrown produce donations. The good news is that there are still other ways you can help! If you would like to show your support, consider donating to our organization, or becoming a volunteer!
We hope that this article cleared up any uncertainties you may have had surrounding our Grow-A-Row initiative! If you have additional questions, feel free to give us a call, at 780-429-2020, or send us an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for supporting Grow-A-Row!