Durham Extension Distributes 10,000 Lbs. of Seeds to the Community
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In late March, FCS Agent Cheralyn Berry and FCS Program Assistant Gaebryl Vives were contacted by Feed the Hungry, a global non-profit distributor of seeds with the mission of improving food security internationally. Their main vendor Cherokee Seed Company was closing their doors permanently and wanted to donate their entire inventory to a local community. Cheralyn and Gaeb drove to Simpson, NC in a 26ft box truck to load 10,000 lbs of seed packets to share across NC.
Upon arrival in Durham, Food Security Coordinator Mary Oxendine contacted the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC. They offered to house and organize the entire inventory for redistribution and volunteered their site for a drive-through pickup. The Seed and Feed event was a great success. Organizations and individuals dropped off food donations and picked up bagged seed packets to share with their neighbors and clients. Seeds included contact information for Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers and planting calendars for the Piedmont region.
Harry Huntley the Food Banks Volunteer Engagement Supervisor: “Back in March, we were put in touch with the N.C. Cooperative Extension about a wonderful opportunity to assist them with Seed and Feed. We collaborated to host a food drive and drive-thru distribution that collected over 500 pounds of food and distributed approximately 800 bags of seeds! All in all, it took approximately 150 volunteers a combined 30 hours to sort, organize, and then subsequently repack the seeds into five-pound variety bags. Each bag contained about 25 different varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. The final total was over 1500 bags, with about half being handed out by the end of the event!”
Following the event, the remaining seeds were distributed during World Hunger Day and the City of Durham Compost Giveaway at Briggs Community Garden. These seeds have helped thousands of people to plant gardens to increase food security in homes and communities across NC. This effort is an excellent example of Extension using the strength of our community relationships in Durham to help people improve their lives.
Thanks to the giveaway groups like the Durham County Library Seed Bank, Women in Ag, Orange County Master Gardeners, community gardens in Raleigh, Durham, Franklinton and Orange Counties were able to receive seeds to provide for their gardens for years to come.