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Local gardeners donate extra produce to help feed the hungry

Posted at 9:23 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 10:23:41-04

OMAHA Neb. (KMTV) - Over the past several weeks, Mulhall's has been asking gardeners to plant a little extra this year to help feed the hungry in Omaha.

"A lot more people were at home, so it was like 'Well, more people are home. More people will be gardening,' so let's see if we can make this all work as a community effort," said Mulhall's Edibles Expert Noel Olson.

Every Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm, Mulhall's is accepting donations of fresh produce as part of the Plant to Give initiative.

"This was an opportunity for us to join with Whispering Roots and combine it together and give people the opportunity not only to grow their own food but also to harvest their own food," Olson said.

Whispering Roots distributes the food to several community organizations and to individuals in need, specifically people they say often fall through the cracks.

"The need is not going to go away even when COVID goes away," said Whispering Roots founder Greg Fripp. "The need was there before COVID arrived, it has just highlighted the fact that there are so many people in need of fresh food."

So far, the Plant to Give initiative has brought in anywhere from 32 to 40 pounds of food each week, with more expected as the harvest season arrives.

"You don't have to be a large farmer with thousands of acres to make a difference," Fripp said. "You could have one tomato plant that produces 10 tomatoes and you could turn that in. You could have some cucumbers. Some people are growing okra. Whatever it is, if you bring in a little bit, you're doing your part."

The organization is asking for produce that has been washed and packaged for safety reasons. They say if you are in need of food or know someone who needs help, to send them an email.

"It's not about egos. If you're hungry, let somebody know and there's food out there and we can makes sure that it gets to them," Fripp said.