Announces Repeat of "Centerpieces for Pantries" Initiative

Nationwide hunger/food waste non-profit urges replacing holiday table floral centerpieces with edible arrangements to then be donated to a local food pantry the next day. Announces Repeat of "Centerpieces for Pantries" Initiative
Newfoundland, NJ, November 16, 2013 --( In two weeks, while millions of families nationwide will be celebrating Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season with a sumptuous dinner table graced with a floral centerpiece, millions of other across America who rely on food pantries to help feed their family will again be struggling just to get food on the table.

Whether provided by the host or a guest, the flowers will soon wilt and need to be thrown away. It is not difficult to spend $40 or more dollars on the centerpiece. This is not only painful for the pocketbook but also for the planet as the dead flowers end up contributing to the waste stream and methane emissions from the trash dump.

The simple solution is to replace the flowers, however beautiful they might be for a moment, with something that can grace your table one day and then feed another family the next. You can spend less for the centerpiece and help your neighbors in need simultaneously., the nationwide campaign that enables millions of home gardeners to donate excess garden produce to 1 out of every 5 local food pantries in America, encourages people, whether they are a dinner host or the guest, to use a centerpiece of whole fruit and vegetables instead of flowers.

The “Centerpieces for Pantries” initiative, now in its third year, helps people share what they’ve been thankful for with those who are not quite as lucky. Nearly 7,000 food pantries spread across all fifty states are a part of the network with more signing up daily.

Harvested from your garden if you are in a still warm part of the country or purchased from a farmers market or store, the fresh food adds lots of color and character to the table. Plus you can see who you are talking to across the table without flowers blocking the line of sight.

You can be as creative as you want with the arrangement or even have your kids contribute to the dinner by letting them create it using whole fruit, vegetables and nuts. Even better, a hungry guest can actually eat some if they. It also might be a fun way to introduce your kids to “exotic” food such as kiwi, eggplant, papaya or, if they spend too much time at McDonalds, apples that are not pre-sliced and wrapped in cellophane.

Then once the dinner is over, visit to find a food pantry in your neighborhood eager for the donation.

This year, board and staff members are creating their own “Centerpieces for Pantries” to help inspire others. All board and staff photos will be posted on our Facebook page ( in our Centerpieces for Pantries photo contest. Fans can vote for their favorite centerpiece and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $300 gift certificate to Gardener’s Supply Company (

It is important to remember that food pantries can only accept whole food. If the fruit or vegetables are cut, carved or pierced with tooth picks, they will not be accepted by most food pantries.

According to founder and executive director Gary Oppenheimer,"giving thanks for what we have should be accompanied by using what we have wisely as well as concern for those who have less than us. Let the centerpiece grace your table one day and feed another family the next. You can learn more at", Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization which diminishes malnutrition, hunger and food waste in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to easily find a nearby food pantry eager to receive the excess garden bounty. For more information on the campaign, visit or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).

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Holle Kathenes
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