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Letters: Get involved with Grow to Share; Don't let your babies play football

Grow to Share: A way to get involved

TO THE EDITOR

If you've been paying attention, for the past several weeks, you may have noticed the information campaign posted on the back page of the A section of the paper. The River Falls Journal and Healthier Together, Pierce & St. Croix Counties have boldly started a conversation regarding food security in our community, shedding light on a prevalent issue with which many of our friends and neighbors must cope.

Per information provided in the paper last month, in Pierce and St. Croix counties, 1 in 10 adults are food insecure, even worse, 1 in 6 children experience food insecurity, and 45 percent of those who are food insecure, do not qualify for SNAP food assistance benefits, leaving them without the safety net of government funded programs to help put food on the table.

Unfortunately, these numbers are increasing. But, as the information appearing in last week's issue pointed out, "You can make an impact!"

Right here in our own community there is a non-profit organization that works to help provide food for those experiencing low food security. Grow to Share, located just north of the First National Bank Baseball Stadium, has been growing fresh fruits and vegetables and delivering them to the River Falls Community Food Pantry and other recipient locations since 2009. Grow to Share strives to fill the nutrition gap for those with low food security by providing healthy foods that are high in nutrients versus those that are highly processed and/or high in sugars. We do this by planting, growing, harvesting, and delivering fresh fruits and vegetables like asparagus, salad greens, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, onions, squash, beans, and much, much more to our recipients.

Along with produce grown in a demonstration garden by the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners at the same location, we have been able to donate on average 1,500 to 1,900 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to our recipient locations each year.

Although the donation of locally-grown, fresh, pesticide and herbicide-free produce is the main goal of our mission, we feel that Grow to Share fulfills many other community needs as well. It is also a resource for learning about healthy eating and self-sustaining growing practices through our classes and educational programs; it provides opportunities for volunteering and improving one's self through the helping of others; it encourages physical activity through the exercise of gardening; and it supports mental wellness through the positive benefits of connecting with nature and one's community.

To fulfill our mission, we seek to involve volunteers of all different age groups and abilities in the gardens, not only to accomplish the work needed to grow and deliver healthy produce, but also using the gardens as an educational tool to encourage healthy eating and positive life experiences for our volunteers. Students from the River Falls School District and UW-RF, youth groups from local churches, scout troops, and local businesses looking to give back to their community have all logged hours at Grow to Share. With over 300 hours of volunteer time required to maintain the gardens, Grow to Share is always looking for more hands to help out.

For more information about the gardens, what we do, or how to get involved, please visit our website at www.growtoshare.org or email us at growtoshare@gmail.com.

Robin Boles

Grow to Share Board of Directors

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The governor's etiquette

TO THE EDITOR

During an Aug. 30 press conference regarding possible deployment of Minnesota Guard personnel to hurricane-ravaged Texas, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton introduced the new commander of the Minnesota National Guard, Major General Jon Jensen.

After his introduction, the governor stepped back and the newly appointed guard commander stepped forward to the microphone.

As Major General Jon Jensen began speaking, Gov. Mark Dayton could be seen over the general's right shoulder pulling out a hanky and blowing his nose.

While the major general continued to speak of the serious situation in Texas, the governor continued to dig serious boogers out of his nostrils.

Minnesota, your governor is one classy guy. Without a doubt, he represents you.

James Anderson

River Falls

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Don't let your babies play football

TO THE EDITOR

To borrow from Willie Nelson "Mamas don't let your babies play football."

Every few weeks a new study is published with truly horrifying information on brain damage from playing football. Football's fun to watch, fun to coach, and fun to play, but it destroys the brains of the participants. Young men of decades past did not want to be the last American to die in the Viet Nam war. Don't let your kids be one of the last to have their brains destroyed by football.

Cheryl Maplethorpe

Town of Clifton

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