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Seed to Supper Vegetable Gardening Course Receives Search for Excellence Award

July 28, 2014
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Portland, Oregon - July 24, 2014 - Oregon Food Bank's Seed to Supper course, a gardening program designed to empower adults to grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget, is the 2014 recipient of the Marje Luce Search for Excellence Award given by the Oregon Master Gardener Association. The award is in recognition for the program’s timeliness in addressing a real community need, innovative design and results.

In Oregon, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits can be used not only for food, but also to buy fruit and vegetable seeds and starts. However, many recipients lack the knowledge or confidence to grow a portion of their own food. In 2007, Oregon Food Bank created a class to teach basic vegetable gardening skills to help participants stretch limited grocery budgets. That class became known as Seed to Supper.

In 2012, Oregon Food Bank collaborated with the Washington County Master Gardener Association to redesign and redevelop the Seed to Supper program from the ground up using Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service research-based information. “The community wins with Seed to Supper by bringing the strengths of two organizations together. Information from OSU Extension Service delivered by skilled presenters is combined with Oregon Food Bank’s community partnerships to create a path to ending hunger,” said Lynn Cox, OSU Extension Service Master Gardener and co-author of the Seed to Supper Curriculum.

Seed to Supper classes are hosted by community-based organizations such as libraries, community centers, housing authorities, and correctional institutions. Offered at no charge, they are taught by OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners and other trained volunteer educators in three or five weekly sessions. The series is offered throughout the state, through a network of satellite partners of Oregon Food Bank, including county Extension Service offices. Early this year, the curriculum was translated into Spanish.

Since March of 2013, 55 multi-session Seed to Supper courses have served over 800 community members. For more information on the program, visit oregonfoodbank.org/seedtosupper.

SOURCES:

Lynn Cox, Metro Master GardenerTM Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator – Washington County, and Master Gardener Seed to Supper Project Lead 503-629-9156, lynn.cox@zsquared.net

Pukhraj Deol, OSU Extension Community and Urban Horticulture Instructor, 503-309-2369 pukhraj.deol@oregonstate.edu

Alison Abbors, Oregon Food Bank Learning Gardens Program Coordinator, 971-230-1639, aabbors@oregonfoodbank.org

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