Canned foods are often readily available at food banks for needy families, but fresh fruits and vegetables spoil easily and are more difficult to distribute, even though they are in high demand.
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In partnership with Valencia-based nonprofit Help the Children, South Valley Church in Newhall recently planted a vegetable and herb garden, using one-third of their property to grow the produce. An orchard is also planned for the future.
It is expected that the garden could yield more than 35,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables per year at full capacity.
South Valley’s idea for a charity garden came out of a desire to find unique ways to serve the community.
Senior Pastor Kevin Pisano said that his church is a small one, without a large capacity for financial giving.
But, their property includes nearly an acre of undeveloped land.
“(We) just looked at our property. The Lord gave us this, and we need to do something with it,” Pisano said.
Although the the garden hasn’t yet expanded to include an orchard, volunteers have already planted a variety of vegetables, including peas, beans, broccoli, lettuce, cilantro, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, according to Pisano.
South Valley will also donate growable seedlings to Santa Clarita Community Garden plot holders if they commit to dedicating 50 percent of their harvest to Help the Children.
To support the cost of the church’s garden, a local Girl Scout troop planted a plot of herbs that they plan to sell in early December.
It is estimated that nine percent of local families cannot afford a full week’s worth of groceries, even though they do not qualify for government aid.
Help the Children is a non-governmental, non-denominational charity designed to meet the needs of families such as this.
The community can donate to help expand and furnish South Valley’s garden.
Contact the church office at 259-1515 Pat Moller at 323-365-2040 to learn how to participate or to schedule a volunteer time.
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Source: Santa Clarita News