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The hot weather is ripening local gardens; soon it’ll be time to figure out what to do with all those extra cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes.

It seems like every summer when we plant our vegetable gardens, we wind up with way more produce than we ever thought possible.

Sure, we can eat until we’re full. We can pickle some and can some. We can give some away to friends and neighbors or bring some to the office for our coworkers. But oftentimes, these folks are suffering from a similar profusion of produce and don’t want any more.

In the end, you might find a good portion of your produce going to waste.

That’s a shame, since there are plenty of people right here in this community who are going hungry.

But there is a way to get this produce to folks who need it. The Sandwich Food Pantry at 331 Cotuit Road accepts produce from home gardeners.

“We love fresh produce,” said pantry executive director Gigi Ridgely.

Produce can be dropped off every weekday between 10 AM and noon. But Ms. Ridgely said donors should keep in mind that pantry food is distributed on Wednesdays, so it’s best to bring produce early in the week, so it can be given out that week. Otherwise, it will have to be stored away until the following week and some items might not stay fresh that long.

She also urged donors to be selective with their produce donations. The pantry does not want overripe items.

“We don’t want to have to throw it away. That doesn’t benefit anyone,” she said.

The pantry serves more than 400 families and distributes up to 10,000 bags of groceries every year.

Its clients get canned and frozen produce all the time. We’re certain that even a few fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes would be a much-welcomed change of pace.

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