Community Gardens and Mobile Farm Stand continue to grow in Midland County

Community Gardens will continue to help feed Midland Fresh Mobile Farm Stand starting with Community Garden Planting Day on Wednesday, May 16 from 4-6pm.

Building on the success of the Community Garden project and the debut of the Midland Fresh Mobile Farm Stand last year, organizations from throughout Midland County will once again come together to provide access to free, healthy produce for those in need.

Midland County Hunger Connections, a collaborative comprised of 30 local organizations with the goal of reducing barriers for the hungry, will launch five community gardens in Midland on Wednesday, May 16 from 4-6pm. These gardens will be planted by Young Leaders United and are located at Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church, Messiah Lutheran Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Caregiving Network in downtown Midland, Midland Nazarene Church and Midland Christian School. Additionally, SPACE Inc. will be hosting a garden this year that their employees will plant and maintain. Midland Christian School will plant their garden at a later date.

These gardens are made possible through the generous support of Midland Reformed Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Resurrection Life Church, Lowe’s, private donations, United Way of Midland County, The Arc of Midland County, The Arnold Center and STEP UP Coach Inc.

“We’re thrilled to see how quickly this initiative has grown, which is due in large part to a truly collaborative effort,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director at United Way of Midland County. “The Midland County Hunger Connections network not only elevated awareness to the issue of hunger in our community, but also collectively removed existing barriers and provided a solution that brings free, nutritious food to help meet the identified need in Midland County.”

Produce from these community gardens will once again help supply Midland Fresh, the Mobile Farm Stand that debuted last year that provides produce for all throughout the community at designated locations. Midland Fresh is an innovative solution to overcoming the transportation barriers to access healthy food. Serving people where they live, this collaboration brings fresh produce directly to neighborhoods across the City of Midland and Midland County on a weekly basis with the goal of “Healthy Food. Healthy Eating. Healthy Community.” Midland Fresh is also a product of collaboration within Midland County Hunger Connections and was spearheaded by Kurt Faust of Coach Step-Up, Inc., who built the mobile farm stand with Chris Shirk. Additional produce for Midland Fresh will be provided by Hidden Harvest and the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network.

“Midland Fresh was a big hit last year and we hope to build on that momentum by adding gardens and stops for our mobile unit. We have expanded to seven gardens this year and 12 stops,” stated Faust. “In addition, we hope to create a ‘buzz’ in the areas of the community gardens so that neighbors will be active in helping and sharing in the produce that is being cultivated.”

Midland Fresh will start delivering fresh produce at the designated locations starting on June 12. Continuing throughout the summer, Midland Fresh will be at the following locations at the times listed below.

2018 Midland Fresh Distribution Schedule

Tuesdays (Beginning June 12)
Coleman Community Garden, 2:00-2:40pm
West Midland Family Center, 3:00-3:40pm
Floyd Elementary School, 4:00-4:40pm
Whispering Pines (Sanford), 5:00-5:40pm

Wednesdays
Caregiving Network, 2:00-2:40pm
Bracken Woods Apartments (Dublin), 3:00-3:40pm
Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church, 4:40pm
Joseph Run Apartments, 5:00-5:40pm 

Thursdays
Longview School, 10:00-10:40am
Village Townhomes (E. Patrick Rd.), 11:00-11:40am
Cleveland Manor Apartments, 12:00-12:40pm
Alpine Mobile Home Village, 1:00-1:40pm

“The reaction of people who stop by to pick up food is priceless. They are excited to have fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those with transportation issues,” Faust added. “It has been a great neighboring initiative too, getting people outside, talking and getting to know their neighbors.”

For additional information about community gardens, Midland Fresh or Midland County Hunger Connections, visit unitedwaymidland.org/hungerconnections.

 

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF MIDLAND COUNTY

United Way of Midland County works to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a good life – Education, Health and Self-Sufficiency. They recruit the people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. They invite everyone to be a part of changing out community by giving, advocating and volunteering.

ABOUT MIDLAND COUNTY HUNGER CONNECTIONS

Midland County Hunger Connections is a collaborative comprised of 30 local organizations working to reduce barriers for the hungry. For more information about Midland County Hunger Connections, please visit unitedwaymidland.org/hungerconnections.