Operation Crop Drop: Gardening to feed those in need

submitted by Jennifer Uhlman

Food insecurity is a reality in Lower Bucks County. As prices rise and corporate donations dwindle, food pantries find their resources stretched thin as they serve the growing number of people who are underemployed or can’t make ends meet.

Donations of pantry staples like cereal and boxed macaroni and cheese continue to come in, but fresh foods, which are essential for good nutrition, are harder than ever for pantries to secure. To help meet this need, I created Operation Crop Drop.

As I tended my own vegetable garden years ago, I recognized how much surplus there was, and I began to donate to my local food pantry. Over time, I encouraged others to donate their surplus crops as well.

Last year, Operation Crop Drop donated over 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, peppers, green beans, lettuce, melons, eggplants, squash, herbs, and more to the Emergency Relief Association (ERA) Food Pantry on Woodbourne Road in Levittown. This year, my friend and Crop Drop partner, Gary LaSasso, has prepared and planted a new 50’ x 50’ Operation Crop Drop garden plot at the Lower Makefield Community Gardens located at the Garden of Reflection/Memorial Park.

We are recruiting and scheduling volunteers to tend the crops and eventually harvest and deliver them to the pantry.

The ERA pantry serves 30-45 families per day, three days a week. Our goal is to donate 2,500 pounds of produce this growing season.

Imagine the possibility of healthy, fresh produce being accessible to everyone in Lower Bucks County! Would you like to volunteer, either at our Community Gardens site, or by growing and donating surplus from your own garden?

Hunger in our area is not as much a supply problem as it is a distribution problem. We can tend the earth and bring forth enough food to fight hunger in our communities.

Join us and be a part of the movement! Contact for more information!

PHOTO CAP: Jennifer Uhlman does some harvesting in an Operation Crop Drop garden.

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