PHILADELPHIA -- From July 12 through Sept. 27, the region's gardeners will help feed neighbors in need by donating thousands of extra pounds of produce from their gardens to Philabundance at drop-off sites throughout the Delaware Valley. Through Share the Harvest the community can help Philabundance increase their supply of food, which is down 34 percent from this time last year.

More people are struggling in this unstable economy with rising fuel and food costs. Food cupboards and pantries are seeing an average increase of 58% among the people they serve. According to the USDA food prices rose four percent in 2007, and are expected to increase an additional four percent in 2008. This year, every extra tomato, zucchini or head of lettuce will help Philabundance meet the increased need.

If gardeners have sown a row for hunger, plan to, or simply planted too much, they can Share the Harvest this summer. With seven convenient drop-off sites located throughout six counties, gardeners can donate produce each Saturday from July 12 through Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

"Share the Harvest is gaining in popularity with every growing season, last year we gathered more than 5000 pounds of extra produce to share with families in need," says Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance, the region's largest hunger relief organization. "Share the Harvest is a great way for neighbors to help the community by donating the extra produce from their gardens to help the increasing number of local families experiencing financial challenges."

Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables are the first things cut from the grocery list when money is tight. The fresh produce donated through Share the Harvest will be used in preparing meals at the Philabundance Community Kitchen, an adult culinary arts vocational training program that supplies critically needed meals to agencies and area emergency kitchens serving people with food insecurity.

Established in 1993, Share the Harvest is a program based on the "victory gardens" concept, which were gardens planted at residences in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom during World Wars I and II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort . Share the Harvest encourages home gardeners to grow extra vegetables or collect any surplus vegetables from their harvest to donate to Philabundance and the fight against hunger.

XTU, 92.5 is supporting Philabundance again this year by serving as the media sponsor of Share the Harvest. Philadelphia's country station has committed to a summer-long effort to encourage people to share their garden with their neighbors in need.

Share the Harvest drop-off sites include the locations below, and more locations may be added. For more information, call 215-339-0900 x 330 or visit www.philabundance.org.

Philadelphia County: Laurel Hill Gardens, 8125 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

Bucks County: Carousel Gardens, 591 Durham Rd., Newtown

Chester County: Gardner's Landscape Nursery, 535 W. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs

Delaware County: Rose Tree Park, 1971 N. Providence Rd., Media

Montgomery County: Smith & Hawken, 1225 Montrose Ave., Bryn Mawr

Albrecht Nurseries, 650 Montgomery Ave., Narberth

Camden County: Springdale Farms, 1638 S. Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill, N.J.

Philabundance is the region's largest food bank and hunger relief organization. Working with more than 600 neighborhood organizations in both Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, Philabundance fights hunger and malnutrition principally by collecting and distributing food to people in need.

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