Backyard gardeners are invited to attend one of two free gardening workshops to learn more about Plant It Forward, a joint partnership between the Gardens on Spring Creek and the Food Bank for Larimer County. Plant it Forward encourages backyard gardeners to plant, grow and share some of their fresh produce with community members in need.

The workshop will provide helpful produce gardening tips and food safety procedures. The first workshop will be held on Thursday, May 1 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Food Bank for Larimer County, 1301 Blue Spruce, Fort Collins. The workshop will be repeated on Saturday, May 3 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Avenue.

Susan Kelly, Food Resources Manager at the Food Bank, will co-host the workshop with Mary Miller, Community Garden & Outreach Coordinator at The Gardens. The program is free, but participants are asked to RSVP to Susan Kelly by phone at 970.530.3112 or email skelly@foodbanklarimer.org by April 29.

“The goal of Plant it Forward is to make it easy for local residents to donate fresh, home grown produce to the Food Bank so that families in need have access to healthy food,” said Susan Kelly, Food Resources Manager at the Food Bank.

According to Michelle Provaznik, Director of The Gardens, “We are encouraging all home gardeners to fight hunger in our community from the ground up through Plant it Forward. This workshop will help you build confidence in the garden in addition to capturing a greater understanding of how your produce donations are a lifeline for the food insecure in our community.”

New this year, Plant It Forward is recruiting neighborhood champions who are asked to volunteer their home, church or place of business as a drop off location so that those who cannot make it to The Gardens or the Food Bank will still be able to donate. As program ambassadors, community champions will receive promotion materials and a dedicated collection bin and will be responsible for delivering donated produce to either the Food Bank or The Gardens. Program coordinators are recruiting 15 champions throughout the county with a target of collecting 15,000 pounds in 2014.

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