Gardeners donate fruits and vegetables to help feed the hungry

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Some local gardeners are using their green thumbs and donating fresh vegetables to help feed the hungry in Rockland County.

The People to People Food Pantry in West Nyack is hoping its "Plant a Row for the Hungry" program will bring in homegrown fresh fruit and vegetables for people in need. "We serve about 4,000 people a month and 51 percent of them are children. There are too many children in Rockland County that don't have access to nutritious food," says People to People Executive Director Diane Serratore.

Tom Brizzolara, a corporate affairs director for Orange and Rockland Utilities, is a local gardener. He raises more zucchini than he could ever eat, so much so that his friends call him the “Zucchini King.” Brizzolara regularly brings bushels of produce, often over 50 pounds at a time, to the pantry. "I'll be doing this all summer long. I've had years where I brought 600-900 pounds of stuff," says Brizzolara.

Channeling his best Forrest Gump, Brizzolara says there are countless way to cook zucchini. "There's zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini, zucchini flowers."

Brizzolara says he is on the lookout for other gardeners to lend a helping hand. "There's lots of other people that love gardening and have some space in their yards. People should make the best use of that."

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