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Garden carts provide fresh produce for free

Outside of all Wayne County libraries carts are placed for surplus fruits and vegetables donated from gardens or farms

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Outside of all seven libraries in Wayne County, there are carts with all sorts of free produce.  

It's an initiative that started as a small project to give back to the community and grew into a partnership with the county's Library Association, The Cooperage Project and the Wayne County Community Foundation.

"It's the whole idea of give a little, take a little, share the bounty and that's how it all came about," said Wayne County Public Library Director, Tracy Schwarz.

Anyone who has a garden with a plethora of fruits or veggies can donate to the garden carts.  People can come and pick up what they need based on what's available.

"We're delighted because people are so happy.  They come up every day and say hey I've got some extra can I put it in the cart? Please do! A lot of our friends and neighbors don't have the funds or ability to get somewhere to get fresh produce so what a great way to avoid food waste and to share what you have," continued Schwarz.

Unique to the Hawley Public Library, is the community garden.  People can grow anything from herbs to fruits and vegetables and if they have extra, they can pick it and put it in the garden carts.

"It's wonderful at this time to have opportunities to share and to help and to give I think," said Hawley Public Library Board President, Susann George.

"Even if it's just two or three things that you have from your garden, if you're driving by, drop them off.  Someone will definitely use them," said Hawley Public Library Director, Amy Keane.

During the quarantine, people have picked up a new hobby. For some, that was growing a garden for the first time.

"This is also a great way for people who have never had cauliflower or never tried pickling, making pickles or canning to give it a shot without having to go out and spend a lot of money," continued Schwarz.

The garden carts will be available until the growing season is over in the fall.