BURLINGTON — Gardener's Supply Company, founded on the premise that gardens change lives, is responding to the widespread need for more gardens by donating $50,000 in cash and product to non-profits working to stamp out hunger and promote mental wellness through community gardening programs.
In 2020, food banks saw a 60% surge in clients and an additional 17 million Americans became food insecure, according to Feeding America. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic also had a severe impact on individuals' mental health.
In response, Gardener's Supply launched its Harvest Hope program to foster the creation of more gardens — which provide healthy, nourishing food, cultivate community and promote relaxation and peace of mind.
On Wednesday, Gardener's Supply employees will deliver "grow bags" full of flowers, parsley and tomato plants to Milton Family Community Center, Colchester Food Shelf and Georgia Food Shelf.
"We want spread the joys and rewards of gardening," Susan Elliot, Gardener's Supply's spokeswoman, said. "We believe gardens change lives."
Visitors to the food shelves will be able to take the bags home to start gardens of their own.
Creating more gardens is just one part of the puzzle, however. Getting people into those gardens, and building their confidence as gardeners, is another. So Gardener's Supply is excited to be partnering with organizations who are making gardening, gardening education, and fresh, healthy food available through school programs, community gardens, and food banks.
Beneficiaries of the Harvest Hope initiative are located in the communities which Gardener's Supply directly serves — including Burlington, Williston, and Milton, VT; Lebanon, NH; and Hadley, MA — and the company's sister city of Austin, TX.
Austin has been designated as a sister city due to the strong business ties Gardener's Supply has to the community, it's the primary location for new product photoshoots, and it's home to a number of organizations doing work aligned with the Gardener's Supply Company mission.
Additional beneficiaries of the Harvest Hope initiative include fBurlington's Intervale Center, KidsGardening.org, Ample Harvest, American Community Gardening Association, Vermont Community Gardening Network, Mental Health America, the Howard Center, and various food banks in Williston, Jericho, Underhill, Lebanon, NH and Hadley, MA.
Gardener's Supply hopes to amplify the impact of Harvest Hope by inspiring and compelling customers and supporters to donate to or volunteer with campaign partners or similar organizations in their own communities.