Yesterday, the Missouri Department Agriculture announced that Missourians have risen to the challenge and registered more than 10,000 gardens in the past year across the state.
The 10,000 Garden Challenge, a program dedicated to getting more people gardening in their communities, at their schools and churches and in their own backyards, has taught more consumers about where their food comes from and the importance of agriculture in our state.
Registering the 10,000th garden also allowed the Department to award a gift certificate fromTractor Supply Company to another lucky gardener. Sandy Perley of Columbia, garden entry number 9,277, was selected randomly and received the tenth $500 gift card to Tractor Supply Company. Perley is a master gardener who volunteers with the Heart of Missouri Master Gardeners at a demonstration garden in Columbia. At the ceremony, the Heart of Missouri Master Gardeners accepted the gift card, on Sandy's behalf, to put toward their gardening efforts.
Throughout the garden challenge, hundreds of participants continuously showed a spirit of giving, donating produce to local food banks, pantries and other charitable organizations as well as to neighbors, friends and family. We heard so many touching stories of giving back and providing for neighbors that truly touched our hearts.
Through the holiday season each year, the heart of giving echoes through communities across the state. These successful ways of giving to those in need is special to the Missourians that need it the most.
The Harvest for Hunger Food Drive reminds us to remember our fellow Missourians in need throughout the entire winter season.
The Department kicked off the food drive with a donation, including non-perishable items and a cash donation of over $1,000, benefiting food banks across the state. The Department of Agriculture has also challenged other state agencies and the agriculture community to follow in making the choice to give back to those in need.
Through the winter Harvest for Hunger Food Drive, the Department is accepting donations at their offices in Jefferson City and encouraging all Missourians to donate both fresh and nonperishable food items. The Harvest for Hunger Food Drive will continue through the winter months, concluding in March. All donations and proceeds will go to the Missouri Food Bank Association and be distributed statewide to food banks.
For more information or to learn how you can give to Missouri food banks, visit AgriMissouri.com. To learn more about the 10,000 Garden Challenge, check out the video below. And join us in giving back whether it be through your garden or from deep within your pockets.