One of the incredible things about the community garden is the amount of respect the community has shown for it. Because it is youth-run, people have a particular reverance for the work they put into it, and everyone chips in to protect it. While there are many people in the community struggling to meet their own food security needs, we have not had much issue with vandalism or theft. Out of appreciation for the respect shown to this space, and an understanding that food is meant to be shared, we started a free food box. As the bounty of the garden explodes in mid-summer, plot holders are encouraged to put their extra produce in a free bin for those who do not have plots in the garden. Who knew that a few fresh and organic carrots and tomatoes gifted to a stranger could make someone’s day!
I was able to give my surplus vegetables to a senior in the community. He thoroughly enjoyed them and wouldn’t otherwise be able to eat this fresh food.
– community plot holder
One dollar from every bottle of dressing sold is invested into a scholarship fund for the Hope Blooms youth. These youth have big dreams and already at the ages of 9 or 10 understand that it takes a lot of hard work and determination to make them a reality. Finances should not be an obstacle to bettering one’s future or exploring life’s opportunities. Through this scholarship fund, these youth are already investing in their post-secondary education through their venture.
These and many other programs are not only providing a valuable service to the community, but teaching youth about the power and ability of giving back.