By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 05, 2001 at 6:16 AM

Your family has had it with zucchini nachos, barbecued zucchini and zucchini custard pie. And your neighbors are creeped out, not charmed, by the clandestine late-night packages left on their porch.

Channeling extra garden produce to needy families through Harvest for the Hungry may help your own family as much as it helps someone else's. The premise -- conceived in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association of America -- is to ask gardeners to plant and designate an extra row of vegetables for local programs that serve hungry people.

Last year, Milwaukee gardeners contributed 52,649 pounds of fresh produce to 35 charitable meal programs through Harvest for the Hungry. Area organizers say fresh produce is one of the most difficult food items to collect and distribute to hungry people.

The most needed fruits and vegetables at area meal programs are greens, peas, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, apples, pears and berries. But zucchinis will not be turned away.

For more information, free seeds or the location of the nearest drop-off point, contact America's Second Harvest of Wisconsin at (414) 931-7400 or (800) 236-1208.