Community Gardens and Mobile Farm Stand take root in Midland

Community Gardens help feed new Mobile Farm Stand with ribbon-cutting to take place Wednesday, September 20 at 1pm at Midland Nazarene.

Midland County Hunger Connections, a United Way of Midland County collaborative comprised of 30 local organizations with the goal of reducing barriers for the hungry, has planted three new community gardens in Midland. These gardens are open to the public and are located at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Messiah Lutheran Church and Midland Nazarene Church. The harvest from these three gardens have helped supply Midland Fresh, a new mobile farm stand that distributes produce for all throughout Midland County.

The three Midland County Hunger Connections community gardens are open to the public, and several local organizations have been instrumental in the planting, weeding, upkeep and harvesting. Nearly 40 volunteers from Young Leaders United and The Dow Chemical Company assisted in planting the gardens on June 6, and groups from The ARC of Midland and the Arnold Center have been maintaining the gardens on a weekly basis. Additionally, groups from Trinseo, Members First Credit Union, Bricks Real Estate, Chemical Bank and New Life Vineyard Church have assisted with weekly weedings and garden maintenance. Plants for the gardens were generously donated by Lowe’s and Bonnie Plants, while the land for the gardens is graciously provided by Midland Nazarene, Memorial Presbyterian and Messiah Lutheran churches.

“It is wonderful to see a success story such as this, which came to fruition completely out of 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 the three community gardens will also help supply Midland Fresh, a new Mobile Farm Stand 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. A ribbon cutting ceremony for Midland Fresh will take place on September 20 at 1pm at the community garden at Midland Nazarene Church.

“Taking produce directly to families and neighborhoods in Midland County has been very well received. The families want fresh produce and want to know more about how to prepare healthy foods and eat healthier,” said Kurt Faust, who built the mobile farm stand. For many this is a difference-maker in their budgets. I have been overwhelmed at the positive responses.”

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.

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