Tabernacle Mission Soup Kitchen Demonstration Garden
The 1600 square foot Tabernacle Mission Soup Kitchen Demonstration Garden is a project of the Big Spring Master Gardener Association of Greene County, Tennessee. The Tennessee Master Gardener Program is a volunteer service program that serves state citizens with home horticulture information and trains and certifies volunteers who provide community service through county Extension offices. The Demonstration Garden was established in June 2013 to provide fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables served at the Tabernacle Mission Soup Kitchen. It is maintained by Master Gardeners, local college students, and community volunteers. Tabernacle is the only soup kitchen serving Greene County residents. It serves an average of 125 meals a week to those who live on low fixed incomes, those who live in public housing, or those who are homeless. Those served by the soup kitchen often suffer from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. To better provide for this underserved community, the soup kitchen staff uses guidelines developed by the University of Tennessee Extension (Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Expanded Food and Nutrition Program) to prepare healthier meals. This includes reducing the amount sugar and fats in meals, substituting herbs for salt, as well as providing several servings of fresh fruits and vegetables with each meal. Many of the fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs served at the soup kitchen have been donated by local gardeners, which includes the Demonstration Garden. A future goal is to expand the demonstration garden to in order to provide baskets of seasonally available produce to soup kitchen guests on a weekly basis.
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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