By: Mark Kreps—
The East 16th St. Church of God Community Garden, located at 2605 E. 16th St. in Muncie, IN recently received a $500 Community Grant from the Walmart Community Grants Team in Muncie in support of their wellness initiatives for feeding those in need throughout Delaware County and the surrounding community.
Hunger and families going without nutritious food is on the rise worldwide, and is a serious problem in the United States and a growing epidemic in Delaware County. Community gardening is combating the problem. The growing problem in hunger is why the East 16th St. Church of God got involved in creating a place where the community could come and experience the joy of gardening, growing food and sharing with others that are in need.
The E 16th Church of God is grateful for the generosity and kindness of our local Walmart Muncie South store. The Walmart Community Grant Team announced, “At Walmart, we strongly believe in giving back and are proud to support organizations that improve communities where our customers and associates live and work.”
” This gift makes it apparent that Walmart cares about its communities’ well-being, and in this case, those lives effected by poverty and hunger issues,” states Richard Green, Chairman of the Garden Committee of the E. 16th St. Church of God. “The E. 16th St. Church of God Community Garden looks forward to a continuing partnership with our local Walmart in endeavors that improve our communities’ well-being and health.”
Since its creation in 2011, the Community Garden of E 16th St. has seen approximately 1500 pounds of produce handed out to the community each year. The importance of the program cannot be understated, as healthy, knowledgeable gardeners can lead to healthier, knowledgeable children, youth and adults who are respectful of their environment. Another goal of the Community Garden of E 16th St. Church of God is to provide useful “hands- on” education to children with the hope of giving them an alternative to sitting in front of a computer. Through these efforts it is hoped that the gardening experience can prevent childhood obesity and associated chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and increase healthy lifestyles. The gardening experience will also give the community a sense of stewardship and an opportunity to give back.
Various area organizations including Delaware County Community Corrections assist in supplying workers in the garden. Children of the church get involved in planting and harvesting the home grown produce. Food giveaways are conducted on Saturdays mornings at the church, from the last week of July through to the first week of October.
Mark Kreps, E. 16th St. Church of God Garden Committee member stated “We truly enjoy partnering with community businesses and organizations, and are grateful for the support we received from the Walmart South Muncie.” Pastor Doug Lucy reiterated, “The blessing of the garden represents the spirit of giving, which keeps on touching lives of many individuals in our community.”