The running joke (with some truth behind it) about locking your car during zucchini harvest season reflects how well zucchini grows in Vermont in late July and August.

And that’s true enough.

Most things in the garden are ripening fast and furious right now, and for many people, the harvest is too plentiful to eat, freeze, can or put up.

For those people, and for all who are growing food in their yards this summer, consider donating surplus produce to the local food shelf. The need is especially great this year. The local food shelf serves over 90 families who make over 220 visits to the food shelf each month.

The local food shelf has been struggling to keep up with the demand this spring and summer. While we think globally about Syria and nationally about presidential politics, can we also act locally by making sure people in our community don’t go to bed hungry?

As we are enjoying fresh lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, carrots, onions, broccoli, squash and, yes, zucchini from our gardens, can we spare some for our neighbors?

If your garden isn’t over-producing yet, can you pick up some fresh, local produce to share with your neighbors who are hungry?

If you can’t do that, can you make a monetary donation to the food shelf (tax-deductible contributions may be sent to the Interfaith Council, P.O. Box 341Warren, VT05674)?

Donations of fresh produce for the food shelf can be dropped off at Village Grocery in Waitsfield and East Warren Market in Warren. The donations are collected on Wednesdays and more will be arranged as needed.

So rather than sneak that zucchini into an unsuspecting neighbor’s car or on their porch, take the time to bring it to the food shelf drop-off spots instead.