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Grow A Row 2023: Donating fresh produce to food banks

two women bending over picking produce in the garden

The Grow A Row initiative aims to give back to Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford communities by providing fresh produce to food banks, pantries, and other distribution efforts. The goal in 2023 was to donate 25,000 pounds of fresh produce to charitable organizations. Anyone can participate by donating harvested produce to a designated location or any other charitable organization that distributes food. Volunteers are available to assist with delivery.

End of Summer Garden Season: A Record-Breaking Donation

Grow A Row participants donated 29,987 pounds of fresh produce to our local charitable food system during the 2023 garden season. This achievement wouldn't have been possible without the contribution of many gardens. The efforts of these gardeners have made a significant impact on the well-being of our residents and the charitable food system.

Bountiful Dinner: Celebrating the Harvest and Award Winners

To end the season, a celebratory Bountiful Dinner for participants was held at the Tazewell County Health Department. Special thanks to all gardeners that made this a successful year. “You chose to work the ground, pull the weeds, tend the soil, water the plants, and gather the harvest. You chose to break a sweat…you chose the muscle aches… you chose to invest your time & talents for something bigger than yourself. And for that – we thank you!” says Bountiful Dinner keynote speaker, Kim Litwiller. Congratulations to the 2023 award recipients, Holly Geier, Pekin Giving Garden, and Trudy Yazujian, Extension Master Gardener, for their outstanding achievements.

If you're a home grower, community garden, or farmer interested in participating, please contact Shanita Wallace at the Tazewell County Health Department at for information on how to participate in Grow A Row 2024.