After seeing a plea from the Flemington Food Pantry asking gardeners to bring excess produce to the pantry to feed those in need, Chip Paillex of Pittstown started Grow-a-Row, an organization based in Hunterdon County that grows fresh produce to feed the hungry. For his efforts, Paillex was awarded a $50,000 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference. Started in 2002 with the help of Chip’s then 4-year-old daughter, the first season netted 120 pounds of food that was given to the pantry. Last year, Grow-a-Row donated 317,000 pounds of produce throughout New Jersey with the help of more than 900 volunteers, many from Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, whose members gave more than 5,000 hours of help.
America’s Grow-a-Row’s mission is to positively impact as many lives as possible through a volunteer effort of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free fresh produce. We GROW, GLEAN, & GIVE℠ farm-fresh produce for donation to people struggling with food insecurity and related health issues by organizing volunteers to harvest from our own farms and partner farms. Produce is distributed to local and regional hunger relief agencies and at Free Farm Markets in low access communities. We provide a variety of supportive educational programs that address nutrition and healthy eating, hunger a