Organizations partner to build community garden for homeless

Food Insecurity Mission Outreach Garden
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Two groups in Region 8 recently partnered together to fight hunger in Arkansas.

The Natural State is near the bottom of the list when it comes to people who don't have access to a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food.

Instead of pointing families to the nearest food bank, Mission Outreach and Families Inc. are now directing people to the backyard.

Wednesday afternoon, work continued on a community garden for residents of Mission Outreach.

The raised beds, built by students at Greene County Tech High School, will soon be full of fruits and vegetables for residents of the shelter.

"It makes it extremely easy," Jeremy Biggs said. "It's a lot easier on our staff, a lot easier on our volunteers and our residents to have fresh food this readily accessible right outside our door."

Biggs, development director of Mission Outreach, said food insecurity is something both organizations see on a daily basis.

"Not only is this gonna help fight hunger but the partnership with Families Inc. is going to give our residents and the mutual clients of ours a therapeutic outlet," Biggs said.

Audrey Dobbins of Families Inc. said they hope the garden serves as a teaching tool too.

"We have thought that we could help them develop the skills here and maybe even go to their houses and help them establish gardens later so they would be more self-sufficient and wouldn't have to put so much money into those things," Dobbins said.

Down the road, they hope it will also inspire more community gardens in Paragould.

"I would like to see it change the culture in our community. This could be a new trend that more people would want to start doing," Jessie Interiano of Families Inc. said.

The garden was also made possible by Adam's Nursery.

They donated the top soil, compost, the plants and mulch.

This weekend, multiple people will be on hand at Mission Outreach to help plant the garden.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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