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Share the Bounty drop-offs promoted

Is your vegetable garden growing well? Do you have more produce than you can handle?

Consider sharing with a neighbor, a fellow community member in need. "Share the Bounty" is gardeners and growers sharing produce with others who can't afford fresh produce.

Donations are welcome at all food pantries and senior sites in Pierce County. Listed below are the food pantry and senior site open hours.

Donations are also welcomed at WIC (Women, Infant and Child) Clinics. All three of these sites, during their open hours, serve a number of people so fresh produce can come in and go out the same day.

People of all ages have benefited from Share the Bounty. Families may try a new vegetable and seniors may taste a vegetable they can no longer grow. The 2005 dietary guidelines place a greater emphasis on vegetable and fruit consumption, encouraging people to "vary your veggies" and "focus on fruit."

With gas prices rising and budgets tightening, free produce is definitely appreciated to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Food pantries often see a user increase in the summer when children do not have school lunch. Feeding the family in the summer is often a hardship when free and reduced-fee school lunches are not available.

Please consider donating your produce directly to the sites where people are attending, such as food pantries, senior sites and WIC Clinics. Educational produce handouts offering storage and preparation information and low-cost nutritious recipes are available at these sites.

Whether you have a lot or little to donate, it will make a difference to someone. Together, people can and do make a difference!

For more information or questions, call Sarah Johnson at 273-3531, ext. 662.

Food Pantries in Pierce County are:

--River Falls Food Pantry, Ezekiel Lutheran Church, 202 S. 2nd St., River Falls, Mon 10-12 and 6:30-8, Wed 1-5, Th 6:30-8 pm., Fri 10-12, Sat 10-12;

--Pierce County Food Pantry, Ellsworth Village Hall, 130 N Chestnut, Ellsworth, Mon-Fri, 9-11:30 am.;

--Prescott Area Food Pantry, 713 Canton St, Prescott, Th 9-11:30 am, 2-7 pm.;

--Spring Valley Community Food Pantry, St John's Lutheran Church, Spring Valley, 2nd and 4th Weds, 10-11:30 am and 4:30-6 pm.

Pierce County Senior Sites are (all open 10 am-1 pm):

--Bay City Village Hall, W 6391 Main St, Bay City, Serving Tues and Th, 12-1 pm.;

--Ellsworth Senior Center, 312 W Main St, Ellsworth, Serving Mon-Fri, 12-1 pm.;

--Plum City Senior Center, 505 Main St, Plum City, Serving Mon and Wed, 12-1 pm.;

--Prescott Watertower Apts., 1531 James St, Prescott, Serving Mon-Fri, 11:30-12:30 pm.;

--Spring Valley Senior Center, 242 S. McKay St, Spring Valley, Serving Mon-Th, 11:30-12:30.

Pierce County WIC Clinics:

--Ellsworth, Pierce County Office Building, Public Health, 1st Fri, 2nd Wed and 4th Th, 9-4 pm of each month, 3rd Sat, 9 am-noon, every month;

--River Falls

, 113 W Walnut St, lower level Edina Realty Bdlg, 2nd Tues, 9 am-4 pm and 4th Tues, noon-6 pm.;

--Elmwood, Plum City and Prescott, call Public Health, 273-6758, for days and times.