Free, Fresh, Fabulous Local Vegetables

Cent$ible Nutrition News • August 2021 • Volume 24 | Number 11

It is garden harvest season. Squash are ripe on the vine, leafy greens are tender, and root veggies are popping out of the ground. This year, CNP is especially excited about harvest time because it means lots of fresh, local produce is on its way to food pantries across the state. Many of these fruits and vegetables are coming from local gardeners participating in the Grow a Little Extra program. 

Grow a Little Extra was launched in April of this year. It is a partnership between First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), and the University of Wyoming Extension (UWE). The goal of the program is to make more fresh produce available at organizations like food pantries.

As part of the program, local gardeners grew extra in their gardens. Extra produce is donated to CNP and UWE. CNP then shares the harvest with local food security organization who pass it on to anyone who needs it.

“This is such a wonderful partnership,” says Mindy Meuli, the director of CNP. “Sharing the produce is a win-win for everyone. Gardeners are able to share their excess, while food pantries are able to offer healthy, tasty produce to patrons.”

This month, summer and winter squash is starting to come out of gardens, as well as a variety of other vegetables. All the produce is getting out to families quickly.

“I’ve been getting a lot of donations from local gardeners and ACRES Student Farm,” says Jess Dooley, the CNP educator for Albany and Carbon Counties. “Earlier in the season, I was getting a lot of rhubarb, but now that zucchini, summer squash, and lettuce varieties are in-season, I’ve been getting a lot of those items lately. The produce has been well received by the staff at the soup kitchen and food pantries, and they always seem to get excited about the amount and quality of the veggies that are being donated.”

To help people use the fresh produce, CNP is creating videos of recipes showing easy and delicious ways to use it. These videos and recipes are shared on CNP’s website and Facebook page. CNP educators across the state also have a variety of information sheets and recipes available for many of the vegetables being donated.


If you’ve received some new produce at the food pantry and aren’t sure what to do with it, search through the CNP recipes on the website, check out CNP’s Facebook page, or give us a call (1-877-219-4646). 

Download this newsletter as a PDF.

August's Feature Recipe

Sauteed summer squash on a plate

Simple Sautéed Summer Squash

Summer squash like zucchini, patty pan, and crookneck are abundant in late summer. Embrace this vegetable with a super simple side dish that can be spiced to fit with any meal!


* The Cent$ible Nutrition Program is funded by USDA SNAP-Ed and EFNEP. SNAP-Ed assists individuals and families who receive, or are eligible to receive, benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). EFNEP assists families and youth with limited resources  in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets and contributes to their personal development and the improvement of total family diet and nutritional welfare. Visit our income-qualification page to learn more. 

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program-EFNEP. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

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