The South Portland Food Cupboard. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer) Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The South Portland Food Cupboard is running a Grow Your Own Veggies program this year with Broadway Gardens Greenhouses Inc., Garbage to Garden, Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, and the Knights of Columbus.

Seedlings of vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and more will come in a gallon pot. Recipients can take them to grow their own vegetables this summer.

“It’s brand new. And what has happened is we have gotten our friends at Broadway Gardens and Garbage to Garden and the Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus in the area all together and we’re going to do our part to grow seedlings and transplant them into bigger things so people can grow their own food right on the porch,” said Jim Welch, warehouse manager at the South Portland Food Cupboard and creator of the idea. “Broadway Garden is supplying the seedlings and some of the dirt, and Garbage to Garden is supplying the compost, and Rotary and Knights of Columbus are doing the planting of the pots.”

“And what we’re going to do is give our plots to our recipients on Thursdays and the ones that take them home can grow their own. Those that can’t, we’re going to try to find somebody, a neighbor, to grow it for them. So they’ll have some type of fresh food coming in all the time.”

The food cupboard will start giving the plants out during the last week of May. Prep work for the project is underway and the organization welcomes volunteers. “We are looking for people that will grow food for other people,” Welch said.

“(It’s) a totally different approach for the food cupboard,” said Laurel LaBauve, vice president of the food cupboard. “And it’s great there are so many organizations that are joining forces to make it happen. Best of all, our recipients are really excited about growing their own vegetables.”

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