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Plant-A-Row for the Hungry campaign begins Saturday

The Oneida area "Plant-A-Row for the Hungry" campaign kicks off Saturday May 23 at 10 a.m. with the dedication of a community garden behind St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 551 Sayles St. in Oneida.

The primary purpose of the garden is to supply wholesome fresh produce to the Salvation Army's food pantry in Oneida. The public is invited and particularly all gardeners interested in supporting the campaign by either working in the community garden or growing an extra row at home are encouraged to attend. Plant-A-Row starter kits including free seeds (courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension) and donation instructions will be distributed while supplies last.

Following the brief dedication ceremony and the recognition of local sponsors, planting will commence. Meanwhile, some colorful entertainment will be provided in the form of a folk dance performance by Wild Blue Morris and a traditional maypole dance open to all who wish to participate. Local Plant-A-Row campaign organizers will be available for questions from the media.

Started in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association of America, Plant-A-Row for the Hungry is a nationally recognized grassroots campaign to enlist America's home gardeners in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Since 1995, more than 14 million pounds of fresh, wholesome fruits and vegetables have been donated to food banks by local PAR campaigns across the nation.

According to Captain Susan Ramsey of the Salvation Army, Oneida Corps, fresh produce is critical to sustaining the health of the needy families served by her organization and is greatly appreciated by those families. Working daily with the hungry and malnourished, she is excited about the establishment of the first Plant-A-Row campaign in Madison County and looks forward to receiving produce this summer.

Donations of homegrown produce in good condition will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. Monday through Friday at the Salvation Army building located at 123 Farrier Ave. in Oneida.

For more information, call 363-7560.

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