The Dinner Garden http://www.dinnergarden.org is a non-profit organization that provides fruit and vegetable seeds, for free to anyone in the United States who wants to start a garden.They don't even request a stamp.
Holly Hirshberg came up with the idea for The Dinner Garden while trying to think of a way to give people free food and lessen their dependence on food banks. There is no qualification process to receive seeds from The Dinner Garden. Holly feels that no one should have to justify their need. She says that she is happy to have all people gardening. The only request The Dinner Garden has is if you grow something you aren’t going to eat, give it to someone who will.
In these difficult economic times, The Dinner Garden is creating a community of gardeners, both beginner and experienced, who pull together to feed their families and communities. Since beginning her mission in January 2009, The Dinner Garden has distributed seed packs to over 12,000 people in 37 States. She has provided the seeds for numerous community gardens, school gardens, and retirement home gardens. The Dinner Garden works with businesses and social service agencies all over the country to distribute seeds to anyone who wants them. They are currently working with The Arkansas Rice Depot to give seed packs to the 25,000 Arkansas children who only eat when they get a free meal at school.
Holly has a small but dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly to spread the word about The Dinner Garden. Many of The Dinner Garden volunteers are disabled, and some are even homebound. As the mother of two adopted, special needs kids, Holly envisioned The Dinner Garden as a way to provide job training to people with special needs, while also fighting hunger. She hoped to give people an opportunity to get involved in a project that is making a real, positive difference in the world.
The response to The Dinner Garden has been overwhelming. They have established seed distribution partners in Utah, Montana, Minnesota, Virginia, and Indiana. Gardeners who have gotten seeds from The Dinner Garden are saving seeds from the fruit and vegetables they grow and mail them back for use by other gardeners in need. By the Spring 2010 growing season, Holly hopes to have Dinner Garden seeds sprouting in gardens in every state. She says, “Not too long ago, we were a nation of farmers. In these tough times, a return to those roots will help us strengthen ourselves as a community, feeding our families with healthful, delicious fruits and vegetables grown in our own yards.”