Happy 2017! Spring is JUST around the corner and it’s time to start planning the garden!1215150004a.jpg

Here at our farm, my husband, Mark, had a great garden full of broccoli, swiss chard, and brussel sprouts, so when the cold weather began threatening, we dug up the plants, potted them into big containers, and put them indoors to see how long they would last. They are STILL making brussel sprouts. The broccoli and chard are not giving anything new to harvest, but they are still alive and we hope to be able to put them back out in the garden once warm weather arrives. My garlic chives and sorrel are also thriving in their indoor pots, and that makes the gray days of winter a little easier to get through!

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Whether you live in Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or a *bit* farther west in Southern Utah/Southwestern Colorado, this site will be a great way to get extra bounty from your garden to local organizations and to folks who really need it! Please take a look through the organizations listed for your area and if you know of a great organization that would like to receive vegetables, fruit, herbs and/or eggs to pass on to those in need but is not on this site, please feel free to pass that on to me and I will contact them.

During Spring 2016, I will be updating information on the existing food pantries and soup kitchens as well as adding new partners who would like to be listed. I will also be adding a list of community gardens and other resources helping folks who want to grow their own food to this site, so please let me know of groups, stores, clubs, and other resources in your area that would be helpful to others and I will invite them to join the directory.

Finally, I’m hoping to add a page where visitors to this page can post their favorite recipes for their home-grown goodies, so start looking through your recipe box and check back in April!

The Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project is for backyard gardeners who have extra home grown food to share can find nearby food pantries or soup kitchens in this online directory so where the surplus items can be dropped off and distributed to those in need quickly. It is also a site to help people who don’t have their own yards find places in the community where they *can* grow food and also learn more about backyard food production and preservation. Happy Growing and Sharing!

Lisa Braddock, Smiling Dog Acres Organic Farm, Orchard & Berry Patch


Happy SUMMER 2015!

Growing season is in full force and I can’t believe the bounty already being harvested. If you are having great success your garden, live in Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or in the area of Moab/Monticello/Torrey/Green River Utah or the Durango Colorado area, and would like to share some of your extras with those in need, please check out this site to find where to take your surplus produce. Also, please let me know of any food pantries, soup kitchens and/or community gardens not listed and I will invite them to join the directory.

The idea of the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project is for backyard gardeners who have a surplus of home grown food to be able to look on the directory to find a nearby food pantry or soup kitchen where the items can be dropped off and then used in a timely manner.  Happy Growing and Sharing!

Lisa Braddock, Smiling Dog Acres Organic Farm, Orchard & Berry Patch


September 30 2014-

The regular growing season is quickly coming to a close, but I know there are many clever growers who will successfully extend their season and even over-winter their plants to be placed in the garden again, come Spring. For now, keeping proper growing conditions while also harvesting so that as many vegetables and fruits can mature before frost is the order of the day. By now, many have consumed and/or preserved as much as their shelves and freezers will hold and the question of “What do I do with all the extra tomatoes, zucchini, and squash?” Welcome to Sunshine Harvest Sharing!  This is a place that can help you locate a local food pantry and/or soup kitchen where your extra produce will be happily accepted and shared with others.

Sunshine Harvest Sharing seeks to link backyard growers to local food pantries and soup kitchens so that surplus produce can be donated. If you live in East Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or Southeastern Utah/Southwestern Colorado, you’ll find directories providing the days/times each food pantry or soup kitchen accepts donations of produce from backyard gardeners. This means you can get your goods to a donation site as quickly as possible so the produce can be shared while still fresh.  If you know of a food pantry or soup kitchen in your area that is not listed here, please add a comment at the bottom of the page, providing the name of the agency and an email address of a contact person and I will do the rest!

A Directory of Community Gardens for each of the three areas (East Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or Southeastern Utah/Southwestern Colorado) is being developed for people who want to grow their own food but don’t have yard space; people who want to volunteer their time to help grow food for others, and so individual community gardens can come together to share information, resources and, hopefully, apply and receive grants and other financial donations as a cooperative unit. Again, if you are aware of any community gardens in the 3 areas represented, please provide me with contact information and I will get them added.

For those new to the site, please read on to learn how the project works so you will be ready to go when you are ready to donate your surplus items. Please share this site with others who garden and might have extra produce to share. If you have suggestions, please send me a note with your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by and please come back often. Be sure to let us know when and what you shared from YOUR garden to make someone else’s day using the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project!


Lisa Braddock, Smiling Dog Acres Organic Farm, Orchard & Berry Patch


ABOUT — Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project

Original Welcome Letter

Being a gardener, I’ve had extra produce that I couldn’t use. I wanted to share it with those in need, but didn’t know the when’s, where’s and how’s of each location’s rules and regulations. So the produce went into the compost bin. This year, before harvest is in full swing, I am surveying food pantries and soup kitchens to glean instructions for donating home-grown produce. The “fruits” of my labor are contained on these pages to be shared with you and other home gardeners for an easier way to donate extra garden produce to those in need.

To learn more about agencies in your neighborhood who work to provide healthy food to those in need, please check out the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Directory for  Champaign-Urbana IL Area or Harrisburg IL and Southern Illinois or for Moab Utah. Each listing will highlight when each agency accepts donations of produce.   Agencies are also listed by the day(s) of the week that they accept donations: Champaign-Urbana  or Harrisburg Area or Moab Utah. The daily schedule should make it  very easy to find a nearby location where you can share your extra tomatoes, cucumbers, and yes—even zucchinis, whether you have a basket full or a handful. Drop off whatever amount of fresh produce–ripe but not overripe–and know that those who will receive the bounty from your garden will appreciate your effort.

For tips and guidelines for packaging your produce, please check out the Produce Donation Tips page. When you donate produce, please mention the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Directory so we can learn that this project works AND come back to this site and let us know (under the comment section) what and where you donated! Check back often, as more agencies will be added.  Let me know if you have any suggestions/comments so I can make the site even better!

Take a break from the summer heat and learn how you can team up with the places in your town that are making a difference, one meal at a time.


Lisa Braddock

Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project/Smiling Dog Acres Organic Farm, Orchard & Berry Patch


Copyright © 2017 Lisa R. Braddock. All Rights Reserved.


27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Betsy Kuchinke. on August 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This is just the best Lisa! Thank you for all your work and the awesome website. You’ve saved me tons of phone calls.


  2. Posted by Suzanne Smith on August 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    What a wonderful resource, Lisa! Thank you. Our community in Homer is in the preliminary stages of creating a farmer’s market for 2012 and this is very helpful information that we can share with our farmers as we develop vendor packets and network at the market. Finding “homes” for our bountiful crops IS a challenge and helping those in need is an integral part of plan. I have already forwarded this site to our planning group and will make it part of our resources.


  3. Posted by sawn Blackman on August 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Good job Lisa!! Thank you for this.
    Dawn@ COB Food Pantry


  4. Posted by Diana Bradley on August 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Lisa,You’re doing a great job.Diana-Sadorus Food Pantry.Thanks


  5. Posted by Rhonda on August 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Lisa, That is so thoughtful of you. Times are so hard, so many people need assistances at this time. Fruits and vegetables make a healthy meal. God Bless You!


  6. Posted by Laura on August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    This is so awesome!!! Thanks SO MUCH for doing this.


  7. Posted by Bridget on August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

    This is awesome! I never want to waste my fresh produce but sometimes feel like it becomes a “burden” to try to use it all… I’d love to share it with those who need it! Thank you!


  8. This is amazing! Thank you so much for going to the trouble of compiling the information and putting it out online so that those of us with good intentions but poor organization or follow through can get our excess produce to those who need it. You definitely earned several gold stars and smiley face stickers for your efforts! (And yes…I still think of motivation & reward in terms of the stickers I got on my schoolwork in elementary school.)


  9. Posted by John Kuknyo on August 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm


    Could you please expand this to Vermilion County?



    • JRK, I have plans to expand the project to a wider area around Champaign-Urbana, which would include Vermilion County. I’m working on launching the project in a couple other areas and then will work on that project. In the meantime, if you know of particular food pantries/soup kitchens that you think would like to participate, please have them post a comment here with an email address and I will go ahead and start collecting their information.
      Thanks very much for your support and for your request to move the project eastward! 🙂


  10. Lisa we are a residential recovery center in Urbana and would like to be on your list to receive produce….. How would we contact you with our information to be added to your donor list?


  11. Posted by Kathie on August 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I have a lot of grapes that I cannot use. Would someone like to make jelly or grape juice?


  12. Posted by Michelle Henderson on August 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Lisa, I was glad to see your article in the paper! I have loads of cucumbers. Send me an email sometime.


  13. Great idea! I wish we had one in St. Louis!


  14. This is really an awesome thing you’ve done, Lisa!


  15. Hey, I’m beginning to work on expanding my project to include community gardens and other ideas. Please take a minute and comment on what you think about the site so I can improve the site! THANKS! Lisa


  16. Posted by Ellen Phillippe on January 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    The Mahomet Civic Garden Club and Champaign County Forest Preserve District are planning an Earth Day Every Day Event on April 22, 2012. We would love to have you come and talk about your “sharing”, or whatever your would like to talk about or exhibit or demonstrate. Any questions you have, please, please contact me and I will answer them and keep my fingers crossed that you will be part of your event.

    Ellen Phillilppe


  17. Been working with Lisa in Harrisburg with Operation Blessing and I knew that you were a very kind and produtive person, but WOW! This is fantastic, Im getting ready to look at the Harrisburg site now, take care and hope to see you Friday!!!


  18. Lisa
    I’m putting a proposal together for St Patrick’s Church to try to set up a Kitchen idea to feed the Low Income and Under Privileged a good healthy meal each day.

    I’m looking for any help you can offer, in order to make this proposal work in Father Hogan’s eyes, and then if given the go-ahead, use some of the produce.

    I’m a Classically French Trained Chef, and Scottish

    Many Thanks

    Paul Edward Montador


  19. Posted by Maureen Sollars on January 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I’d love to talk to you about sites in Bloomington Normal IL


    • Maureen, My apologies for the delay in response. Medical difficulties kept my work at a minimum last year but I am trying to get a head start on the 2014 season!

      Please email me at lrbraddock at gmail dot com and i would love to add food pantries and soup kitchens in the bloomington / normal area to this page. What works best for me is to have the contact info for the agencies along with one or two reps of the agency so I can email them a questionnaire. Let me know what will work best for you! Cheers, and thanks!!!


  20. Posted by Jennifer Rister on April 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    In your Carbondale area- you have Wabash Area Development Inc in Harrisburg, IL listed as having a food pantry and we had to close that 2 years ago. I thought you might want to remove us from that list. Jennifer Rister, County Manager


    • Thank you very much for that information.I’m sorry to hear that the service had to close. Please let me know if you become aware of any new agencies in the area and I’ll be glad to contact and add them to the list. Cheers, Lisa


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