Food bank garden starting to produce

In June the Salvation Army received a boost to its planned gardening efforts for its food bank.

At the time Young’s Plant World donated several trays of vegetable plants, as well as vegetable seeds to the cause as part of the Salvation Army’s Growing Kindness campaign.

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The plants and seeds were then planted in a garden plot the Salvation Army is tending this summer provided by Dorothy McCuaig.

“I can’t do the work anymore,” said McCuaig, who decided rather than turn the garden plot in her yard to grass, she provided it to be used for a good cause such as growing fresh produce for the food bank.

“The plot was here, so why not have somebody use it, and they can use the food down there, (the food bank),” she said.

The food that is being grown in the garden is being distributed through the food bank so that people who need support can have “fresh produce, not just canned goods,” explained Lieutenant Sam Tim with the Salvation Army.

John Kaminsky has been helping tend the garden, which is now beginning to yield its first produce for the food bank. He said he just wanted to get involved to be active.

“I like to help. I like doing this kind of work. It gives me something to do,” he said Wednesday morning as a few tomatoes and peppers were collected from the garden.

Tim, added, the Growing Kindness campaign is about more than just the garden the Salvation Army is tending. It is also about inviting gardeners across the region to share some of what they grow, or to intentionally plant an extra row in the garden for the food bank and Grow Kindness throughout the community.

“This is a good way to get the community involved,” he said.

Carrie Olson, one of the driving forces behind the project added that thanks to a donation through McKenzie Seeds, the Salvation Army is able to provide a packet of seeds to the first 100 people to donate garden produce, as a way of supporting the ongoing idea of gardening for the food bank annually.

There are also ideas percolating to provide follow-up education for people in regards to how to store and prepare the fresh vegetables.

And, expanding on the idea of locally produced food for the food bank, McCuaig said she has a small grain mill, so if anyone wanted to provide wheat, peas, or similar farm crops in small quantities she could make flour for the food bank.

Donations of grain to grind, or garden produce can be dropped off at the Salvation Army Food Bank on Betts Ave. in the city.

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