Westport Farmers' Market Partners With Grow-a-Row

Westport, CT - Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) welcomes Grow-a-Row Westport for another growing season starting Thursday, June 9. Grow-a-Row Westport engages market goers to play a direct role in helping fight food insecurity in Fairfield County through donations of wholesome, homegrown produce. 

Local home gardeners drop off their donations of fresh-grown fruits, vegetables and/or herbs at the Grow-a-Row Westport collection cooler located at the main WFM Information booth. Volunteers from Food Rescue US-Fairfield County collect and transport the fresh produce to Fairfield County agencies serving food insecure residents.

The Westport Farmers’ Market and Grow-a-Row collaboration is in its second year.

"WFM has proven to be a true champion of this local effort. In addition to generously hosting the collection cooler every Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Imperial Avenue location, WFM has also helped raise community awareness of the program through their promotion and social networks,” said Haley Schulman from Food Rescue US-Fairfield County.

Every Thursday, all Grow-A-Row donations are delivered to the nearby Westport Housing Authority by Food Rescue US-Fairfield County volunteer rescuers. Last season, the donated produce was shared among Westport Housing Authority’s 221 resident households, including seniors and children, and prioritized to the most food insecure.

“WFM promotes the value of nutritious food and the value of strengthening our community through every effort possible. Grow-a-Row has proven to be one example of outreach programming that has positive impact from start to finish,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, Executive Director of WFM.

Amanda Sayegh, Director of Programs and Resident Services at the Westport Housing Authority, expressed that residents have been very appreciative of the produce donations from the past and that “fresh vegetables are considered a luxury for many of the residents.”

In 2022, Grow-A-Row Westport collected and delivered 53 bags of locally grown, nutritious vegetables, fruit and herbs to Fairfield County agencies in need from the Westport Farmers’ Market collection point. Bags were overflowing with lettuce, squash, tomatoes and even apples—with many home gardeners expressing how thankful they were for this program.

About the Westport Farmers’ Market

The award-winning Westport Farmers’ Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food.

It aspires to create a fun, safe, and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Its mission is to increase awareness, knowledge, and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.

For more information, visit www.westportfarmersmarket.com

More About Grow-A-Row:

Grow-A-Row Westport is a volunteer effort to donate fresh, local, seasonal produce to benefit food-insecure populations in Fairfield County, CT. Founded in 2020 at the Westport Community Gardens, Grow-A-Row plants, tends, harvests and collects nutritious donations of fresh produce and herbs, all delivered to Fairfield County agencies in-need by our partner, Food Rescue US - Fairfield County and its volunteer network. Updates and information on instagram @growarowwestport.

Food Rescue US, a national nonprofit organization founded in Fairfield County, is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America by connecting the vast amount of healthy, fresh surplus food with the critical hunger demand. Through the use of its proprietary app, Food Rescue US engages volunteers to transfer excess fresh food from grocers, restaurants, and other sources to social service agencies that feed individuals and families who are food insecure. Food Rescue US is keeping this otherwise wasted food from ending up in the waste stream where it decomposes, creating methane gas that warms the planet. For more information, visit www.foodrescue.us.If you are interested in joining the Food Rescue US movement as a donor, volunteer, or receiving agency, please contact Food Rescue US - Fairfield County at haley@foodrescue.us.

Submitted by Westport, CT

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