Go Further: Grow-a-Row

Sponsor generated content

Go Further: Grow-a-Row

Sponsor generated content

What started as a “side project” for Ford F-150 owner Chip Paillex and his daughter has evolved into America’s Grow-a-Row, a nonprofit organization of 4,000 volunteers.  Grow-a-Row has donated 3.7 million pounds and counting of fresh produce to New Jerseyans in need.

In 2002, Chip, then a marketing executive, rented a 30’ by 30’ plot of land for a family garden. “I’d never planted anything before,” he says. Then he spotted a plea in the local paper for extra produce for the area’s food pantry. The Paillexes donated 120 pounds of fruits and vegetables that year, spurring Chip to plant, grow and give more. In 2008, Grow-a-Row became an independent organization—and Chip’s full-time calling.

Today, Grow-a-Row delivers produce from its now 49 acres to food banks, food pantries  and soup kitchens across the Garden State. Grow-a-Row also invites recipients to its farm to harvest food for themselves and others; the organization runs healthy eating, farming and hunger crisis education programs, and it operates what it calls “Free Farm Markets” in three cities.  

“Grow-a-Row is not just about getting produce to folks in need,” says Chip. “It’s also about educating all walks of life. There’s something very special about inviting a child to a farm and having them say, ‘Wow, this is where my food comes from?’”

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