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Connecting the Hungry with Local Food Assistance and Other Resources

West Milford, NJ, December 05, 2009 --( The Campaign announces that it now provides free guidance on its web site ( for individuals in search of food assistance.

The campaign was created in May of 2009 to help millions of backyard gardeners across the country find local food pantries eager for their excess garden bounty. Since that time, more than 1,180 food pantries have registered on the free site.

Due to the growing number of families seeking food assistance, and as a result of its prominence on the Internet, has also been attracting an increasing number of people in need of food aid in recent months.

To address the urgent needs of these individuals, and at the recommendation of United Way, now provides a nationwide listing of United Way’s 2-1-1 web resources on a state by state basis The United Way 2-1-1 network provides free and confidential information to anyone in need of state or local health and human services, including food, shelter, health care and counseling assistance.

The Campaign was created because many backyard gardeners who grow more vegetables, fruit and herbs than they need wanted to share their bounty with the hungry in their community, but often could not find local a food pantry. This excess food was instead left to rot in the garden, composted or simply thrown away.

According to founder Gary Oppenheimer, “The Campaign is working to diminish hunger in America by enabling millions of backyard gardeners to donate their excess garden bounty to local food pantries. At the same time, nearly 500 people a week were coming to the web site in hope that they might receive some of the help they so desperately need. Although is not able to provide anyone with food assistance, it certainly can point these individuals to the resources that can best help them in their own communities, and that is what this enhancement to the web site does. They get the help they need and we can remain focused on the bigger picture.” is an outgrowth of Sustainable West Milford, a 503(c)(1) sustainability organization and has received support from many groups including the USDA, Google, Inc., National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers of America, Rotary International, VFW, and numerous faith groups. The Campaign is a grassroots effort to diminish hunger in America by enabling backyard gardeners to easily find a local food pantry eager for their donations. Nearly 1,200 food pantries nationwide participate. For more information on the campaign, visit or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).

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Gary Oppenheimer

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