Seeds of Hope Garden
~~Rumford Group Homes, Inc. is celebrating 40 years as the leading provider of homeless services in the Western Mountains of Maine. Our agency operates three emergency homeless shelters, permanent housing programs, a Maternity Group Home program and case management services to help families increase their long term housing stability and economic self sufficiency. Last year in our shelters alone we served 148 people and provided safe shelter, hygiene supplies, supportive case management and for the first time, fresh food from our very own garden!
Most of the families we serve have little to no income and are food insecure. We assist homeless families in obtaining SNAP benefits and to learn about healthy nutrition, but the fact remains that most families we work with can't provide enough food for themselves without seeking additional support including local food pantries and emergency food purchased by our programs. Additionally, families often purchase cheaper, unhealthier food with their benefits and find it hard to afford higher quality, fresh ingredients. In 2011, to help alleviate this problem with the families in our shelter, we began hosting guest presenters to teach about healthy cooking, nutrition and low cost meals. We also created a small garden that provided a little bit of food for our guests. In 2013, we were recipients of a Sow it Forward Grant from KGI and expanded our garden. We had a huge amount of success and would like to continue with our best garden yet.
We would like to expand the garden again and continue the project of working together to create something that everyone benefits from. We also preserved some of the food from our garden to be enjoyed year round and taught our guests how to garden so they can do it on their own once they find their own home.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA