Warming Center Garden
The fifth and sixth grade students from Mill Stream Elementary School Read180, began the Warming Center Garden in May 2013. We read a book, Bud, Not Buddy, in which the boy was homeless and went to a soup kitchen for food. That inspired us to help the needy in our community by planting a garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. We applied for a local grant to buy the seeds and were awarded start-up money. The students planted, weeded, and picked vegetables every Thursday. The garden was a huge success. We harvested over 1700 servings of fresh vegetables for the patrons of the Warming Center.
The Warming Center serves one meal every Thursday to the needy. There are 80 to 100 people served each week in this rural community.Meals are also delivered to shut-ins. The purpose of writing this Sow It Forward grant is so that we can continue the garden and enlarge it this year. We were surprised that every week all of the vegetables were taken by the patrons and some weeks we did not have enough for everyone. The people were appreciative and expressed their hope that we will continue our work this year. Some of the patrons canned their share of the produce to ensure that they had vegetables this winter. One elderly lady took me aside and in a feeble voice said, “ It may not sound like much to you, but I have been able to can 14 pints of vegetables from my share of the garden. My dear, that is one month of vegetables for my supper.” She had tears in her eyes and I had to swallow hard. The realization of what the garden meant to the recipients was only to be assumed until that moment.
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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