Our Voice: We're grateful today for sharing food, friendship

When we plant a seed, it grows. If that seed is a plant, it gives us food we can share with others. If that seed is kindness, we can share that as well.

We're grateful for both commodities and those who nurture the seeds.

Plant a row for the hungry

When it's time to plant, there is lots of enthusiasm for a garden. When it's time to weed, that enthusiasm wanes a little. When you're trying to get rid of the extra tomatoes and zucchini, you have a rewarding problem on your hands.

Some gardeners naturally have extra produce to share. Others might have to plan it that way. Now is the time to know that you can donate garden produce to a local food bank.

Face it. If any of us had to live exclusively on what we were able to grow in our own little gardens, most of us would be very hungry and malnourished. However, growing a garden is a wonderful way to supplement your diet and it adds flavor and nutrition to your plate.

It's no wonder the food banks are so eager to welcome donations of fresh produce, even in small amounts.

It's easy to pick up an extra jar of peanut butter at the store and donate it. It also is easy to put in an extra tomato plant.

Plant an Extra Row for the Hungry is a formal program. If you sign up with the local Master Gardeners, they can track how much garden-fresh produce is donated to the area food banks.

Gardeners, however, can just drop donations off at the food banks without signing up for the program. Either way, your extra food goes to someone who really can use it.

To sign up, call 509-531-5913 or email wtdixon3@gmail.com.

Outstanding teen

Congratulations to Southridge student Taylor Plunkett who was crowned Miss Washington's Outstanding Teen this week. Two other Southridge students Reagan Rebstock and Payten Hart, competed in the pageant, as well. Plunkett took a run at the title last year also. It pays to keep trying. We admire the fortitude to give it a second go.

One of the neat things these scholarship pageants provide for their contestants is an encouragement to share a platform.

Maybe some of the contestants already would be involved in community service; maybe the pageant is the impetus for those actions. Either way, the contestants are helping make our community a better place.

Plunkett's work is to bring together kids who have disabilities with kids who do not. She joined the Buddy Club when she started high school and is helping to expand that into schools in the Yakima Valley.

Empathy and friendship are two commodities we always can use more of.