America's Grow a Row is a dedicated organization that grows more than vegetables for those in need, I have seen it grow people. This organization gives to those in need and gives back to those that give. It is an organization where families serve together, where I am fortunate to be able to have my children experience the benefits of giving along with the education for themselves on the benefits of being closely connected to our food source and educating them on healthy choices. So much is gained from having these children with diverse backgrounds share in the experience of picking food for others together. In an era where obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are rampant, AGAR is a beacon for us all to be challenged to eat better and show the next generation how. AGAR is dedicated to the communities it serves in delivering vegetables to food deserts for improving the lives of those in need, to the education it provides to everyone who touches the organization. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Founder and President, Chip Paillex, AGAR will be providing healthy, fresh produce to our neighbors in need for a very long time!
Extremely well run, true to mission, wonderful presence within the community. Been involved for approximately 10 years. Great to see their growth and success.
I have served on the boards of several non profit organizations over my years in business. I can honestly say that Americas Grow A Row is the best run non profit I and my husband have ever encountered. The organization is run with discipline and efficiency as well as with heart. The workings of this organization are totally transparent and decisions are made with integrity. Fund raising and grant seeking are accomplished "the Grow A Row way" which is always fact based and respectful of the many supporters and volunteers. This organization not only grows, harvests, gleans and gives away fresh produce to those in need, but also educates children and families about the benefits of eating healthy food. And much of this work is done with thousands of volunteers. This is a great nonprofit!
AGAR is the gold standard when it comes to non-profits. Chip and his team have such amazing energy around their mission of providing freah, healthy food to those in need. They are diligent in ensuring every dollar donated is used effectively toward that goal. Thier large volunteer base is dedicated and provides the resources needed to harvest the produce and keep operating costs down. The Board is extremely active both on/off the farm. it is a wonderful organization and I am proud to be a member of.
As a community member, donor, and volunteer, I can highly recommend without any reservation America's Grow-A-Row. It is a fantastic charity with Chip as a phenomenal leader. I am confident that donations/gratns will be used to positively impact the lives of many whether they are produce recipients or the next generation of volunteers.
I got involved with America's Grow-A-Row (AGAR) several years ago after reading an article in our local paper. As a board member of a small foundation, I was always looking for local 'grass-roots' charities that we would want to consider for a donation. We would often search for smaller charities with low overhead costs where dollar for dollar we could have the most impact – help the most people. AGAR was perfect.
At the time AGAR was in its early stages of development and just finalizing its 501c3 status. Since then, I cannot begin to tell you how inspiring it has been to watch Chip Paillex and his team at AGAR develop the program into a huge success donating over 1,700,000 lbs of fresh, healthy food to people in need. Chip's passion and enthusiasm are endless. He has cultivated a large volunteer base and ensures every dollar equates to more lbs of fresh food.
In 2008, my son's 2nd grade class went on a field trip to the AGAR farm to plant string beans. The children learned about hunger, fresh food, and, most importantly, the importance of giving back. AGAR's model is inherently sustainable spawning the next generation of philanthropists and volunteers.
The field trip led to an idea to start a garden at the school. With Chip's help and guidance, the team of school volunteers (teachers, parents, and students) started a garden. The first crop was harvested in the summer of 2011 and continues today. During the school year the garden is used for hands-on learning as well as a source of fresh foods for lunch!
AGAR is reaching further with the Newark Area Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating Program. This program features the two key elements that make AGAR the special not for profit they are: 1) the delivery of approximately 35,000 pounds of fresh, healthy produce to Newark and Jersey City through Free Farm Markets, and 2) the hosting of 250-300 youth from these communities at AGAR’s farm in Pittstown, NJ. The delivery of food to one of the nation’s worst “food desserts” attacks a major issue, availability. While it may be hard for us to believe, the greater Newark area lacks access to fresh, affordable produce. This program assures healthy produce gets into the hands and onto the plates of those suffering from hunger. However, AGAR doesn’t stop there. Hunger is only one aspect of a complex issue. The second part of the program addresses education. The program provides hands-on opportunities for youth from the Newark area to visit their farm in Pittstown, NJ where they harvest crops and learn about the importance of healthy eating. The experience for these kids is life altering. It provides them with an education on healthy eating, with skills they can use to grow their own food, and illustrates the power of giving back. My husband and I always look forward to volunteering for a youth day.
I have a passion for gardening and being of service to others, AGAR has been able to meet both of these needs over the past 5 years. My family and I have been involved in a number of volunteer oppprtunities that have come up over the years. My personal favorite is picking corn in the summer and seeing bin after bin full of healthy food ready for pick-up by the food banks. My wife and I are part of the team that gleans from the local Shop-Rite and distributes veggies and fruit to those in need from the Flemington area. We have also helped out with the Free Farm Market set up in the Camden area for people that have limited access to healty produce. II continue to see first hand the impact AGAR has on the lives of those who volunteer as well as those who benefit from servings of fruits and vegetable and because of this I will gladly continue to volunteer for years to come.
Americas Grow-A-Row is one of the greatest ideas and organizations in the volunteer world. Nowhere else could you give a few hours of your time and instantly see the enormous benefits you have just provided to far too many in need. With poor nutrition and diet being two of the biggest and costliest issues throughout NJ and our nation, it is just tremendous that this program continues chip away at ending these problems.
Our founder and President Chip Paillex is one of the finest people and natural leaders that I have ever known and his personality, spirit and energy continue to motivate everyone involved with AGAR. We are grateful to all that continue to both touch and support this outstanding program and we look to all of you to continue to help us win this battle. Although we find ourselves in the first inning of a long game vs. hunger, Americas Grow-a-Row has the team through its ever growing networks of support to win and win we will!
Thanks to all for your dedication to AGAR.
Volunteer & Trustee
Americas Grow-A-Row is one of the most outstanding programs and ideas a nation could ever hope to experience and enjoy taking part in. The message, support of volunteers and bottom line results of AGAR are so powerful that few other ideas will match it's benefits to our fellow citizens.With a volunteer base in the thousands and growing this NJ based non-profit is having a profound impact on the health and educational needs of so many throughout our state that are in need of great nutritious fruit & vegetables in their daily diet. All of us volunteers show our willingness to our fellow citizens by working in the fields throughout each year growing, gleaning and giving fresh produce which we have planted and cared for to shelters, soup kitchens and foodbanks throughout NJ. At the same time we are educating both ourselves as volunteers and many inner city youth about the importance of farming and eating healthy. In a world and a nation that are consumed each and every day with huge problems to deal with, Americas Grow-A-Row is getting out in front of a few of our biggest issues and improving the lives of so many while doing so. This organization is so brilliant for its simplicity of message yet so dedicated to the core belief of our needs and obligations to help our fellow citizens in need. Truly the very best in breed and we continue to urge for the support we need to continue the growth of a fantastic idea and vision. Hats of to AGAR!
America's Grow-a-Row provides a wonderful way for me to give back to others with my family. My children are never excluded because they are too young, as they are with so many other non-profits. They have been picking corn and other produce since they were at least 5 years old and have learned many lessons about: hard work, agriculture, hunger, and poverty. This is an organization that values and appreciates its volunteers and I am proud to serve it in many ways. I am also pleased to not only be helping to feed those in need, but to be feeding them with healthy food. In an era where obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are rampant, we need to be giving people opportunities to eat better. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Founder and President, Chip Paillex, AGAR will be providing healthy, fresh produce to our neighbors in need for a very long time!