Community gardens provide thousands of servings of vegetables to Norfolk

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Sponsors, donors and supporters of The Gathering Food Gardens gathered at Old Windham United Church in Simcoe on Friday morning for a garden party.

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A project of Church Out Serving, six community gardens across Simcoe have a total of 27 raised beds growing a variety of vegetables, including lettuce, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.

“This is a thank you to our supporters, business community, site sponsors and volunteers,” said Virginia Lucas, vice president of Church Out Serving. “The products are destined for food programs throughout the county. This year’s harvest is already over 14,000 servings of vegetables and we are far from the end of the season.

Eric Haverkamp, ​​chairman of the Church Out Serving board and manager of the community garden project, said he thought the project was making a big difference.

“What we produce is healthy food,” he said. “Vegetables are hard to find for food insecure people because they are expensive.

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“It’s not part of their normal diet, so our vision is to allow people to have healthy products.”

Since the launch of The Gathering Food Gardens in 2017, nearly 80,000 servings of vegetables have been distributed to people through food programs in need of support.

“We heard feedback from people helped,” Lucas noted. “They appreciate the fact that they now have access to local produce and fresh fruit and vegetables and say it improves their physical and mental health.”

She said people notice an impact on their ability to function well in their daily lives.

“It’s really encouraging to hear how it makes a difference on a personal level.”

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