Posted at: 09/02/2012 6:28 PM
Church Grows Huge Garden to Bless Those in Need
(ABC 6 NEWS) Food shelves are very busy during Thanksgiving and Christmas. But what about the summer? One local church is taking the task of feeding the community into their own hands.
With each drop of a tomato, members of the First Congregational Church in Dodge Center are turning their backyard garden into a community one.
"It's kind of like pay it forward, it's like you're feeding the community," said church member Lynette Nash.
For four years they've grown all kinds of vegetables.
"We've got cucumbers that we've taken in. We've got winter squash, we got zuchinnis," said Garden owner, Rick Welsh.
And once they're ripe, they donate them to the SEMAC Dodge County food shelf.
"To be able to go in and see the expression on peoples faces when you're walking in. I've taken in onions bigger than my hands this year and the expressions on peoples face and when they see the fresh produce and the excitement, they're getting the fresh stuff is worth every minute of it," said Nash.
The Dodge County food shelf currently serves 440 households. Many of those families have moved in to apartments and are unable to have a garden of their own. So to be able to receive fresh items like tomatos and squash is eomthing they really look forward to.
Just this year alone, the church has brought 950 pounds of fresh produce to the shelter, but they say, even a little bit helps.
"You don't have to go in there with hundreds of pounds. You can go in there with 5 or 6 ears of corn or two tomatos and if that's what you've got left over in your garden, that can go a long ways," said Nash.
So through lots of planning, weeding, and pulling, these church members are using this garden to bring the community together.
"It's a great way to bring everybody together and sharing," said Nash.
The SEMAC Dodge County Food Shelf is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 4. By Christmas, they expect to be feeding over 500 households.