Volunteers wanted for community garden

By Sara Miller

Kitsap News Group

On April 15, garden lovers should grab a friend, a shovel and a can-do spirit and join fellow community members in planting a community garden with Kitsap Harvest.

Kitsap Harvest works with Kitsap Public Health with the goal of creating a sustainable and community-based system of moving local produce to food banks in order to alleviate both food waste and food insecurity in the county.

“All produce grown will go to the Bremerton food banks,” gleaning coordinator Martha Lefebvre said.

The garden is located in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center, 1300 Spruce Ave.

To create this garden, a goal of Lefebvre’s since starting with the program, Kitsap Harvest partnered with Seeds of Grace, a non-profit that starts local gardens around Kitsap County.

And with the help of volunteers, the victory garden will become a reality for people in Kitsap.

“April 15 is the official planting date,” Lefebvre said. “On this day, volunteers will do light weeding, watering, planting seeds, adding more soil and building up the walls of the raised beds.”

After the original planting date, Kitsap Harvest is also looking for volunteers for regular garden maintenance. It can even be used for volunteer hours for students.

“It’s a great chance to help the food banks, spend time outside and show children where food comes from,” Lefebvre said.

The three project areas for the planting day include planting and harvesting, basic maintenance and tools and supplies. Snacks and drinks will be provided by Seeds of Grace.

Donations of hand tools, mesh (onion) bags and gallon milk jugs are also needed.

While the garden is located in Bremerton to help Bremerton area food banks, all are welcome to join. Kitsap Harvest has also worked with South Kitsap Helpline to donate food, as well as Positive Olalla Projects in gleaning and food donations.

To register as a Kitsap Harvest volunteer, contact Lefebvre at martha.lefebvre@kitsappublichealth.org or 360-728-2204.

In Kitsap County, 30 percent of adults in Kitsap are without steady sources of food, and 35 percent of children need free or reduced lunches.

Visits to food banks have increased 70 percent since 2006. Food banks are serving 48,000 residents a year.

For more information, visit www.unitedwaykitsap.gal axydigital.com or the Kitsap Harvest Facebook page.

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