Posted by Lexa Shallcross
Joseph Marlin, founder of Plant a Row, spoke to Emmaus Rotary on Thursday, May 18th with good humor and solid information about the hunger issues in the Lehigh Valley and one way  326 area home gardeners are helping. 
     Marlin cited stats that 11% of PA households are food insecure, that 60,000 people in the greater Lehigh Valley area receive food assistance and that the stress increases  for families with school age children in the summer.
     He founded "Plant a Row" in 2016 and last year 56,000 meals were donated to 15 different agencies. Rotarian Tony Moyer is a volunteer driver for the organization which is based on a national model. Local drop off points are the Emmaus Library, Emmaus Community Gardens and Bogie Community Gardens. Currently there is a need for a Wednesday driver to pick up in Emmaus. 
     There was lively discussion about collecting garden harvests at our morning meetings after Rotarian Ralph Lewis pointed out that Plant A Row and our Rotary both bring food to the pantry at Bethel Church, Groceries PLUS, which is supported ecumenically and by numerous service organizations like scouting. Look here for future details.
     Marlin, who admitted to the nickname of Mr Green Beans, was introduced by Rotarian Valerie Deneen whose husband Mark, also at our breakfast meeting,  had worked with Marlin. Joseph Marlin lives in Hellertown where he is a volunteer firefighter. He is a data engineer at PP & L.