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Volunteer program donates over 30,000 plants to community gardens in Contra Costa

KRON4 Heroes

CONCORD, Calif., (KRON) — A volunteer program donates thousands of vegetable plants to local undeserved communities in the Bay Area free of charge. Over the last few weeks volunteers for The Contra Costa Master Gardeners Program donated more than 30,000 plants to local school and community gardens.

Due to the coronavirus the program was forced to cancel their “Great Tomato Plant Sale” — the programs biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Because of COVID-19 they were not able to have the sale so they quickly decided they would distribute the plants for free to local communities, elderly and schools,” Bay Area Program Director Frank McPherson said.

The program based on Concord has 200 volunteers with the majority of them being senior citizens, have been able to donate vegetable plants to 48 community and school gardens throughout the Bay Area.

Despite not being able to host its Great Tomato Plant Sale the program tells KRON4 volunteers wanted to help the community any way they could amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We turned what was a plant a sale into a giveaway of plants for the community that doesn’t have access to these types of things.”

The Contra Costa Master Gardner program is a volunteer program sponsored by the University of California’s Cooperative Extension and offers to extend research-based gardening information to county residents and local agencies.

With people sheltering in place the program also has a help desk if you have questions on gardening. You can give them a call at 925-608-6683.

“Its an opportunity to teach young kids know grow and where their fruits and vegetables come from,” McPherson said. “We also teach them how cook to nutritional meals and get them eating healthy foods.”

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