VERONA, NJ - According to the National Gardening Association, 42 million households across the United States are growing food at home, up 17% over just five years. As every backyard gardener knows, though, an ample harvest may provide more than one family can enjoy. What can a family do when their backyard garden produces more than they can eat?

A new community program sponsored by the Junior Woman’s Club of Verona provides an ideal solution. In an extension of Verona Fights Hunger Week, which benefits the Human Needs Pantry of Montclair, the Verona Juniors are offering a pick-up service to collect extra fruits and vegetables from local gardeners. A local resident can contact the Verona Juniors directly, and a club member will come to the resident’s house to collect extra produce. Donations will be collected on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 AM and 10 AM throughout the summer. These fruits and vegetables will be transported directly to the Human Needs Pantry, providing much-needed fresh produce to members of our local community.

Sign Up for E-News

Donations to the Human Needs Pantry tend to slow in the summer, with many families on vacation, but the need for help remains. Four percent of Verona’s households live below the federal poverty level, according to a recent report published by the United Way of Northern New Jersey.   Another 20 percent of households struggle to make ends meet and cannot always afford groceries and other basic necessities. Fresh produce donations are especially needed, as they provide essential nutrients crucially important for young people and the elderly.

Anyone interested in participating in this new program can email the Juniors at or call Christine at 201-988-2404.