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Dinner Centerpieces: Let it Grace Your Table One Day and Feed Another Family the Next

Newfoundland, NJ, October 22, 2015 --( As we approach the holiday season, millions of families nationwide will be hosting or attending Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with a sumptuous table graced with a floral centerpiece.

For millions of other families across America who rely on food pantries to help feed their family, these holidays will just be another evening struggling to get food on the table.

Whether provided by the host or a guest, the flowers 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.

What if you could spend less for the centerpiece and help your neighbors in need simultaneously?

A simple solution is to replace the flowers, however beautiful they might be for a moment, with something that can grace your table on day and then feed another family the next., the nationwide campaign that enables millions of home gardeners to donate excess garden produce to a nearby food pantry, 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 fourth year, helps people share what they’ve been thankful for with those who are not quite as lucky. More than 7,500 food pantries spread across all fifty states have registered with with more joining 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 the whole fruit, vegetables and nuts. Even better, a hungry guest can actually eat some if they like – something that is far more difficult with flowers. 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 fast food restaurants, apples that are not pre-sliced in cellophane.

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

It’s 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.

Giving thanks for what we have should be accompanied 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. Visit to learn more., Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization which works to diminish food waste and hunger in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to easily find a local food bank 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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Etta Einschlag
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