Plant. Grow. Share.

Did you know you could donate fresh produce to your local food pantries? Not many people do, as it’s not typically promoted during food drives.

But it’s true. Many food pantries are in need of fresh produce for their clients. And while some gardeners are aware of produce donation some hesitate to take excess produce to a food pantry because of concerns of liability and donated produce going to waste.

In this 45-minute video, Gary Oppenheimer, Executive Director of, explains the importance of donating produce and creating community change. 

But you don’t have to worry; Good Samaritan Laws protect you from any liability when donating produce. While produce does not have a long shelf life, it’s always the first off the shelves so it never goes to waste. Since fresh produce is an uncommon item at food pantries, so any little bit helps and your community will thank you for it.

If you are donating produce to a food pantry or other organization, check out this great tip sheet on safe produce handling practices.

How Can You Help?

When you plan your garden, Cultivate Iowa is asking you to plant a little extra to donate to your local food pantry. You don’t need to have a big garden to donate; any amount is helpful and needed. So if you find yourself with extra produce throughout the year, please consider donating to your local food pantry.

Ready To Start Donating?

STEP 1: Make the promise today to donate tomorrow and help your community.

I Promise to Donate Fresh Produce 185

Thanks for your promise!!!

STEP 2: Enter your zip code below to find locations where you can donate fresh produce in your community.

Can't find your food pantry? Go to to register the food pantry in your community. 

“It never gets left behind, and this is very promising. Families definitely want it.”*

“Zucchini is a gateway drug. Once you get growers hooked on how good donating feels, they will find other produce to share as well.”*