May 23, 2008

‘Share Your Harvest’ program benefits needy people in area

The St. Vincent de Paul Society’s food pantry in Indianapolis, in cooperation with Dammann’s Lawn and Garden Centers, has an ongoing program called “Share Your Harvest.”

Through the effort, any home gardener can bring in excess vegetables to any of Dammann’s three Indianapolis-area garden centers at 8005 E. 30th St., 4914 Rockville Road and 5129 S. Emerson Ave.

Dammann’s sells the donated fresh vegetables at market value, and all proceeds are given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s food pantry.

St. Vincent de Paul volunteers use the funds to purchase meat and canned goods for needy people in the area who come to the food pantry for assistance.

“As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for others in need,” said Helen Dammann, co-owner of the Dammann’s stores.

She said her husband, Jim, who is an avid gardener, came up with the idea for this unique way to reach out to the less fortunate.

They are members of St. Lawrence Parish in Indianapolis.

Jim Dammann said Tim and Pam Hafner, who are volunteers for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, “spend a lot of time planting and growing” vegetables and deserve much of the credit for the program.

Don Striegel, the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s food pantry volunteer coordinator, said his organization has had a good partnership with Dammann’s for the last few years, and he hopes it will continue in the future.

“It’s been a really good deal,” Striegel said.

Due to the uncertainty that many Americans—including the marginalized—face these days with the nation’s unstable economy, Striegel said, “any help is definitely appreciated.”

(Dammann’s three Indianapolis locations and their phone numbers are: 8005 E. 30th St., 317-894-1867; 4914 Rockville Road, 317-381-9787; and 5129 S. Emerson Ave., 317-786-0799. For more information about the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s food pantry, located at 3001 E. 30 St., in Indianapolis, call 317-924-5769.)

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