Dirty Hands For A Cause

Forward Garden in Middleton is one of 10 gardens that make up the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens. The farms — together reaping 100,000 lbs of produce in a year, provide first-choice, fresh and culturally relevant food to local pantries.

Forward Garden farm manager Matt Lechmaier (pictured) says pantries typically have a lot of nonperishable items and some fresh produce available to its clients, such as potatoes, onions and sweet corn. But the food pantry gardens are putting nontraditional produce on the table.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure there’s the variety that the families that can’t afford their groceries want to see on their dinner tables, and so we’re trying to grow the things that other farmers and growers in this region don’t have surplus to donate to pantries,” he said.

The Madison-based nonprofit has more than two decades of history in Dane County. Relying on the assistance of 700 volunteers, MAFPG gleans and grows more than 100,000 pounds of produce each year destined for the Dane County emergency food system.

More information on the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens, Inc. can be found at www.foodpantrygardens.org or by following MAFPG on Facebook and Instagram.