Local Church, Community Garden Donate Fresh Produce to Pantry

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A local church is helping Springfield families eat with the help of volunteers. Garden Coordinator Carl Redmon told us gardening gives him a wonderful feeling because what he gardens is donated to a local food pantry. Redmon said he hopes the fresh food will give folks a lift who are down on their luck.
 
“God bless you and we’re glad to be able to provide this service to you. Hopefully, it’ll make you feel better. You’ll enjoy life more and it will give you a lift up,” said Redmon.
 
Redmon said the Greater Parkcrest-Wesley Community Garden has already donated more than 1,000 pounds of produce to the Well of Life Pantry, a pantry supported by several churches in the downtown area.
 
“We’re doing that in northeast Springfield where there is a lot of problem through York Elementary and Campbell Elementary in connection with Crosslines and Ozarks Food Harvest,” Redmon said.
 
Wesley Methodist Church said donating is part of its mission that couldn’t be done without the outreach of volunteers.
 
“It’s really nice to be able to work with our neighbors across the street, people that don’t come to our church but have rented a bed in the community garden and we’ve gotten to know them that way,” said Redmon.
 
Volunteers began building the Greater Parkcrest-Wesley Community Garden last September.
 
“Through some grants, we were able to secure and from a lot of donations from Wesley folks here we collected about $16,000 to build the garden. It’s cost a little over $14,000,” Redmon said.
 
Now they have 28 raised beds to help feed fresh, nutritious produce to those in need.
 
“We have a 10 fruit tree orchard that was basically donated by City Utilities in one of their tree programs. They paid for all of it to be put in and everything,” said Redmon.
 
Neighbors who rent plots often donate too.
 
“If the folks who rent have excess produce we ask them to flag it for us on Monday, Wednesday, Friday so we also harvest that and take it up as their donation,” Redmon said.
 
Redmon said growing the food is fun but watching where it ends up warms his heart.
 
“It’s such a pleasure when you take this food up to the Well of Life Food Pantry and you see the people coming in requesting help for food and so many of them you know this probably will be their only meal for the next couple of weeks or whatever,” said Redmon.

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