I cannot say enough good things about Grow-A-Row! The idea of a charity farm is something revolutionary. The staff members are the most caring, down-to-earth people around. Grow-A-Row creates an opportunity for volunteers who are young and old, local and widespread to come together over a common goal... the need to provide fresh produce to those whom it is not accessible to! 1.2 million pounds of produce is astonishing! I am lucky enough to live local and volunteer during every community day from the early months of spring plantings season to the gleaning season of fall and will continue to support Grow-A-Row in every facet I can!
In our lifetime we don't always come across people who make significant impacts on our lives. However, at Americas Grow a Row, impacting lives is protocol. Chip Paillex, president and founder, has created an environment rarely encountered. As a volunteer, I have witnessed small miracles, moments of grace, and true acts of altruism.
"You have not lived a perfect day unless you have done something for someone who cannot repay you." Ruth Smeltzer
Live a perfect day with the team from Americas Grow a Row.
Americas Grow a Row is an awesome place filled with awesome people. The work is always fun and you can be sure the food is going to people in need. Everyone always has a great time and many come back with friends/family.
From volunteering as a child to being lucky enough to intern as a sophomore in college, America's Grow-a-Row (AGAR) has played an important role in my life as well as the life of thousands of others. As a volunteer and as an intern I was always told I would be doing work in the field, but it never felt like that. To me and to many that I have spoken to the "work" you do at AGAR is more like an opportunity. It is an opportunity to learn something new, it is an opportunity get outdoors, it is an opportunity to meet new people but most of all, it is an opportunity to help others. It is this opportunity to help others that makes America's Grow-a-Row stand out from the rest. During my internship experience I saw multiple corporate groups work until the very last second to finish the last sweet potato row or harvest a final row of zucchini just to get a few hundred more pounds of produce to our friends in other communities.
Behind all of this is a team that is truly dedicated to America's Grow-a-Row mission to positively impact as many lives as possible through a volunteer effort of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free fresh produce. From educating children in the classroom about the benefits of healthy eating to setting up emergency gleaning efforts, AGAR's staff truly does care about helping as many people in as many communities as possible.
I love this organization and encourage as many people as possible to get involved and join in the mission and success of America's Grow-a-Row!
Having volunteered with AGAR for a season, how vested they are stands out. The staff believes in their cause. They are also forward-thinking and flexible, unafraid to look at what did or did not work the season before. This I feel lends to their success.
America’s Grow-a-Row practices a full circle approach to the hunger crisis. They provide healthy recipes and teach food preparation. AGAR also educates all ages about agriculture and nutrition. They grow produce and rescue it. Truly a hand-UP, not a hand-out.
As if that weren’t enough, AGAR does not receive any State or Government funding! If you haven’t volunteered, you’re missing out on a whole lot of outdoor fun! Get out of your cubicle and into the farm. Go ‘Grow Something Good’!
I first learned of America’s-Grow-A-Row (AGAR) through a nutrition class at Montclair State University. I made it out to the farm at my earliest opportunity with my three young children, who jumped right in to help pick 9,000 lbs. of corn one sweltering August afternoon two summers ago. This summer my teenage son and I volunteered during a week-long Kids Day Camp, which hosted young children (from food desserts) to the life on a real working farm through tours of zucchini and corn fields, and harvesting nectarines, donut peaches, and bags of green beans. They made delicious peach, zucchini, and cucumber salads that they ate up before visiting a “trick-or-treat” style farmer’s market to fill their bags to the brim with freshly harvests consisting of corn, zucchinis, peppers, and cucumbers.
What a great sight it was to witness young children pick and take their first bite of tree ripened peach, transformed by the taste and the whole experience. Equally satisfying was witnessing my teenage son completely engaged as a counselor then shifting to help harvest in the field. Sweaty, dirty and tired, yet he found his day at the farm satisfyingly fulfilling.
AGAR is a beacon of hope in countless lives. We are so fortunate to have you in our community. And, thank you, AGAR, for the opportunity to be a part of your amazing mission!
Where to start...
My family and I have been involved with AGAR for the past few years, and will continue for years to come. Chip and the crew are not only inspirational people, but are determined to change the lives of so many communities in need of fresh, healthy produce.
If you're of the volunteering spirit, I dare you to find a better way to donate your "extra" time. Once you help at one of the free farmers markets, and see the recipients faces/ gratitude for what AGAR does for their families/ communities, you'll be hooked.
I have had the privilege of volunteering with America's Grow-a-Row for the past several years. I have always found my experiences with Grow-a-Row to be rewarding. It's a great opportunity to give back to my community through planting, harvesting, gleaning, educational programs, and distributing food to those in need through the free farm markets, and I have been fortunate enough to participate in all of these aspects of the organization. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and dedicated to the cause. I always feel appreciated and welcome. They rely on their volunteers to meet their goals and communicate this effectively to the volunteers. They wrap up each harvest session by letting us know how much of an impact our short time in the fields has had on our community and all of the ways others will benefit from the work Grow-a-row does. I am looking forward to being involved with this organization for years to come.
America's Grow A Row has inspired me and my family in so many ways! As volunteers and donors we have experienced the gratification of working in the field, delivering produce to NJ residents, performing special projects and participating in celebratory events which highlight the incredible impact AGAR has had on our immediate community and beyond. The team is so passionate about their mission and it shows in the details. From hosting inner city children on the farm to teaching folks them how to prepare the food they've harvested - AGAR is truly changing the way people view and engage with food. It's incredibly powerful!
Grow a Row is an amazing organization, not only do they do great things for the community but they also make it super easy for volunteers to get involved in their wonderful work. Every volunteer experience with them is a good one. The staff is very friendly, responsive and well organized. When you show up for a volunteer event you are guaranteed an activity that is well worth your time. Everyone at Grow a Row is so passionate about what they do and it shows! A truly great organization.
I cannot say enough great things about America’s Grow-a-Row!! Every single staff member loves what they do, and are innovative and full of energy! They put intense care and attention towards making sure that volunteers and recipients know how much they care and appreciate them! Having been an intern at America’s Grow-a-Row for several months now, I have been able to work in many different aspects of the organization! It has been truly amazing to help with after-school cooking sessions in Jersey City, and then get to see some of those same children at the Kids Farm Days and Free Farm Markets! It has been an honor to be able to volunteer my time with such an exceptional organization, and I can’t wait to see how much more America’s Grow-a-Row expands over the next few years!
I've been volunteering with America's Grow a Row for more than 5 years. Planting and harvesting at the farms, delivering to the free farm markets and helping with year round gleaning. The atmosphere that Chip and his team create makes you want to keep coming back to volunteer again and again. It's an amazing thing to join a group of people for a few hours and pick thousands of pounds of fresh produce knowing it's headed to the tables of grateful recipients. The idea that people deserve access to healthy food seems so simple but yet so many are not given that opportunity. AGAR is up for the challenge. They've already made great strides and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them. I'm very proud to be part of this incredible organization.
America's Grow-a-Row is a wonderful organization. From what started as a fairly simple initiative, it has grown into a meaningful organization that is helping thousands of people in NJ that are food insecure or live in food deserts. I originally became aware of AGAR through my son's school when he did some volunteer work for them and then we got the whole family involved. It is one of the few charities where kids can get directly involved in helping out in addition to learning about the need for improving nutrition and access to fresh fruits and vegetables for those in need.
America's Grow-A-Row is a wonderful organization! We love volunteering with them and they truly provide a rewarding volunteer experience. Their staff is always organized, friendly and grateful for our efforts and it is amazing to play even a small part in their incredible mission. The impact they are making in the community on so many different levels is truly inspiring!
America's Grow a Row is inspirational. I have only recently become involved with the organization, yet I have become immersed in a culture that fosters a greater good for the greater community. The nonprofit nobly helps people have access to farm fresh produce who would not otherwise. I have worked with community harvests, the Kids Farm Days, gleaning from ShopRIte, and will work with the Free Farm Markets and start a program at my school to support the nonprofit. The interactive environment enables people -- particularly ones from food deserts or areas of food insecurity such as Newark -- to learn about where their produce comes from and how to make healthier choices in their eating habits. The people in the organization have such spirit in their philanthropic mission. I have been treated like a valuable resource in the organization and have therefore promoted AGAR to my friends and family. I cannot wait to volunteer more with AGAR, as the organization's remarkable growth is a sign of its positive reception in both the agricultural and greater community.
Where does one begin when attempting to do justice for an organization as stellar as America's Grow a Row? Our family has been dedicated to working with AGAR practically from the beginning. We have watched Chip and his team create an organization that does so much good for so many. AGAR isn't only feeding people physically, but emotionally, spiritually, academically, and relationally as well. Every time we step foot on the farm or at an event or at an offsite farm market, we feel the spirit of what AGAR is about: the unconditional desire to help others. It has been and continues to be an honor to volunteer for and support AGAR.
Chip Pailex and his team are truly exceptional and caring human beings! I have volunteered with Grow a Row since 2010 and have been so impressed with their mission to bring healthy fruits and vegetables to inner cities in New Jersey. I find Grow a Row to be a very organized and efficient organization, and yet run by incredibly humble staff. It has been amazing to watch the organization just blossom and evolve over the years, as well as its expanding ability to serve and educate those in need. As a mom, I love that our entire family can volunteer at the farm together, whether it's planting seeds or gleaning produce. We always leave the farm feeling very grateful and a part of something worthwhile!
My family and I have been volunteers for America's Grow-A-Row since 2005. There are so many wonderful things about this organization—it is one of the few where families can volunteer together. I think back to the first night we picked corn in the sweltering heat, with dirt all over us, so amazed that our group had picked over 7000 pounds of corn in two hours and it would make it to those in need the very next day! It was a wonderful, yet humbling experience. I know my daughters looked at the world a little differently after that experience…We have been blessed to see AGAR grow over the years and touch so many lives…My wife wanted to get more involved so she has been the Gleaning Coordinator for a local grocery store since 2008. It was such a simple yet powerful idea—think of all the "not quite for retail" produce that gets thrown out each day in grocery stores. We have volunteers who pick up fresh produce on a daily basis that might not look good in a fruit bowl, but would make an excellent apple pie or tomato sauce. When she first started, the employees of the store told her how happy they were that the fruits and vegetables were not going to waste. To be able to provide fresh produce to those who cannot afford it or don't have easy access to it, is a wonderful feeling.
I have picked up literally carloads of fresh produce to deliver to urban farm markets and/or to the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown. The kindness and concern of the people supplying the food to be loaded into my car is matched only by the incredible volume of what is being given and the freshness of the produce. To arrive at an urban farm market and deliver huge burlap bags of corn so fresh it smells like "GREEN! SUMMER!", crates of squash, plums, tomatoes ...it fills you with a feeling of all that is right in the world. No preservatives. No cans. No chemical ingredients. Just farm fresh food, brought to you by the people of Americas Grow A Row. With love and respect and good wishes. God! I love these people!
I have had the outstandingprivilege of working with almost every person from this organization. These are dedicated and genuine people. They have inspired me and the teams that I have brought from The Cheesecake Factory. Each of us has left the farm spreading the good word and the positivity around America's Grow A Row. Nothing beats giving back and this group of ladies and gentlemen facilitate an amazing chance for each individual and each group to reap the amazing benefit of charity work. We will always return to support this great cause.