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Land O’Lakes to donate produce through community garden program

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 10:52 a.m. CDT

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — The Land O’Lakes Foundation plans to donate more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce this summer to food shelves across the nation through its Answer Plot Community Garden Program. Land O’Lakes will work with local co-ops, FFA chapters and WinField agronomists to plant and harvest produce in 21 regions. The goal of the program is to bring communities together and encourage others to participate in alleviating hunger.

Laura Backus, with public relations at Land O’Lakes, will be visiting in Creston’s community garden 4 p.m. Wednesday at the high school.

Creston High School FFA students will plant, harvest and donate food to the local food pantry, including the Family Development Center.

Participating FFA chapters receive toolkits and guidance from WinField Agronomists and local cooperatives. Creston Farmer’s Co-op will assist Creston FFA.

Each chapter also receives a $1,200 grant from the Land O’Lakes Foundation to use as scholarships or stipends for the student workers.

After only three years, the program has grown from six gardens to 21, and more than 160,000 servings of produce were donated in 2011 and 2012. This year’s goal is more than 150,000 servings.

The Land O’Lakes Answer Plot Community Garden Program is part of the Land O’Lakes Foundation Feeding Our Communities initiative. This initiative is dedicated to ending hunger on the local, national and international levels. The foundation also matches dollar-for-dollar the donations from Answer Plot landowners and local cooperates in its Answer Plot Match for Hunger Relief program. These local funding efforts help Land O’Lakes further its mission to provide rural communities with opportunities to strengthen, grow and flourish.

To start your own Answer Plot Community Garden in 2014, contact Deb Prince at dlprince@landolakes.com.

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