New Grow-A-Row Program Receives Abundant Volunteer Support

Released April 01, 2021 02:05 PM

Program to Grow and Donate Produce to NFCC’s Food Pantry


Where:                   Old Rucker Farm, 900 Rucker Road, Alpharetta GA 30004 

Social Media:        @FarmatOldRuckerPark


The City of Alpharetta launched a new Grow-A-Row Program at Old Rucker Farm, an organic, educational farm within the future site of the 9+ acre Old Rucker Park which is currently in the conceptual development phase. Grow-A-Row will expand the farm’s current produce donation program to local partner, North Fulton Community Charities.


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for supportive programs like the North Fulton Community Charities’ food pantry, which serves more than 125 families per day. “We are excited and thankful for the new Grow-A-Row program. This initiative and other local gardens make it possible for NFCC to offer fresh and nutritious local produce in our food pantry,” said NFCC Food Pantry Director Melody Fortin. “Families on limited budgets can rarely afford these healthier choices at the grocery store. Partnerships like this one with the City of Alpharetta make it possible for everyone in our community to enjoy the benefits of healthy foods.”


The community’s increased need inspired committed volunteers at Old Rucker Farm to increase the farm’s donations to a year-round effort, rather than just during the summer months when school-based programming is not in operation. One volunteer took it upon himself to raise the money needed to transform an underused field into food producing rows, and together with a second volunteer, spent hours of donated time to make this program possible.


When the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Services team started to search for volunteers to help manage the rows, they did not expect the overwhelming support the program received. The initial goal was 14 to 21 volunteers who would tend the seven rows of crops. But after more than 60 eager and dedicated volunteers signed up, they ended up assigning teams of volunteers to each row, further adding to the community energy generated by this program. All volunteers have committed to a minimum of five hours of work each week, plus the communal harvest every Friday morning once the crops are ready to donate. Volunteers are given instruction on what, how and when to plant in their rows, with the city team providing the seeds and started plants from the farm’s greenhouse. “The community of Alpharetta never ceases to amaze me with their generosity, service and love for each other. I am proud of the work that is being done at the farm by the volunteers and our city team to help our neighbors in need,” said Jim Gilvin, City of Alpharetta Mayor.  


The Grow-A-Row program’s goal is to produce 4,500 lbs. of fruits and vegetables in its first year.  During the summer months the educational field’s harvest will also be donated to NFCC’s food pantry.


If you are interested in volunteering at the Old Rucker Farm, sign up for a volunteer shift that works for you at:

The Alpharetta Grow-A-Row Program is managed and operated by the City of Alpharetta’s Community Agriculture Program. For more information, visit