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Under the sponsorship of the South Bronx-Port Washington Community Partnership, Port Washington has officially begun its "Plant A Row" (PAR) campaign and joined other communities throughout the nation whose gardeners are planting an extra row of vegetables for the hungry this summer. "Hunger is a pervasive problem in the US that cannot be ignored," said Marvin Makofsky, co-chair of Port Washington's PAR effort. "Nearly 35 million Americans live in hunger or what's called 'food-insecure' households. Many of them are children. An increasing number are members of working families. We need to help our neighbors." Produce collected through PAR will be distributed to the needy through food banks in Port Washington, including Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, and through the soup kitchen at the Willis Avenue Methodist Church in the South Bronx.

Helping is simple. Either dedicate one of your rows of vegetables or your excess harvest to helping the needy. Keep in mind that vegetables and fruits that travel best and keep wellare: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peas, green beans, tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplants, summer squash (including zucchini), winter squash, onions, beets, apples and pears. Herbs are welcome too.

After you have harvested and thoroughly cleaned the produce bring it to one of the two drop-off points: Bayles Garden Center at 88 S. Bayles Avenue (883-6660) and Di Leo's Bayside Garden Center at 72 Shore Road (767-7601). From there your produce will be directly distributed to those in need.

"This is a great, efficient, easy way to make a real difference in people's lives," said Nadine Heyman, PAR co-chair, "and we anticipate a wonderful response from our community." Further information about PAR is available at Alper's Hardware Store, Port Washington Massage and Holistic Center and Pergament in the Soundview Shopping Center.


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