Campaign Focuses Efforts on Gulf States Region

Home Gardeners in Gulf States Region Can Assist Food Pantries Struggling Due to BP Oil Spill.

West Milford, NJ, July 23, 2010 --( In response to the economic upheaval caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Inc. has announced that the Campaign will be focusing its outreach efforts in the Gulf States region for the immediate future.

Since its introduction in May of 2009, the Campaign, enabling more than 40 million Americans who grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts in home gardens to quickly find a local food pantry eager for their excess garden produce, has rolled out nationwide without any specific geographic focus.

According to Founder and CNN Hero Gary Oppenheimer, “In the past 14 months, all states have received the same amount of attention in our effort to register food pantries while also reaching out to local gardeners. To date, nearly 2,500 food pantries across all 50 states have registered at Since the Gulf States regions’ economy has been so severely impacted by the oil spill, many more people will be relying on local food pantries to help feed their families – possibly for years to come. The Campaign is now working closely with food banks from Texas to Florida to help their local food pantries register at At the same time, is also working with the US Department of Agriculture, Master Gardeners and others to help local growers become aware of the opportunity they have to help their neighbors in need.”

According to David Coffman of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, “ is a tremendous resource to connect food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens to neighborhood gardeners and farmers. Now, with the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, these agencies are experiencing increased demand as families struggle with the uncertainty about their futures and their livelihoods. By using, agencies and gardeners can provide much needed support through nutritious and high-quality produce.”

With help from a grant from Google Inc., the Campaign has created a special “ad campaign” targeting regional gardeners to inform them about the opportunity to share their excess harvest with local food pantries. “The one glimmer of hope in this tragedy is that although it will probably take many years for the Gulf region to fully recover from this, gardeners in this part of the country are able to grow food, and therefore help out local food pantries, year round” according to Oppenheimer. “For example, LSU AgCenter reports that the state has approximately 349,000 home gardeners. Those gardeners who grow food can make a significant impact on the amount and quality of fresh food available to hungry families.”

Anyone knowing of a food pantry their community should urge the pantry manager to register at Food pantries do not need refrigeration for the produce (most produce except for leafy greens will store for several days without refrigeration) and they do not need an Internet connection to take advantage of the Campaign. There is no cost to the food pantry for participating in the campaign., Inc. is a not-for-profit organization which has received backing and support from the US Department of Agriculture, Google, Inc., National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers of America, Rotary International, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and numerous faith groups. The Campaign works to diminish hunger in America by enabling gardeners to easily find a local food pantry eager for their garden bounty. For more information on the campaign, visit or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).

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Kelly Cooke