[From Cross Current, 09.02.15. Subscribers, please go to Continue reading HERE!]
Our Garden is a transitioning ministry. The Plant a Seed ~ Feed the Need Donation Garden is becoming Providence Gardens. Our 10-year-and-beyond plan is to move away from our existing model of a one-way avenue of donations to Interfaith Caring Ministries. Rather, we will move towards an interactive ministry connecting primarily with families from two of our high risk neighborhood elementary schools, both of which are experiencing food insecurities. During a spring meeting called by the At Risk Services Department of the Clear Creek Independent School District, we learned that 23% of students in Galveston County experience food insecurities on a regular basis.
This information was received as a new call to action through our Garden!
Phase I of our plan is to create a steering committee for the transition period leading to activation of this project. The committee will consist of at least six individuals who will meet quarterly to discuss projects, funding, outreach, etc. Connecting with the counselors at League City Elementary [LCE] will be a top priority, as they implement a Communities in Schools program, as well as a Backpack Buddy program. Our parish will be in partnership with CCISD as they assess the needs of the student population.
[Continue reading HERE!]
We plan to offer at no-cost: junior master gardening program; cooking; nutrition; and, general/adult gardening classes to the families at LCE, as well as to our Mother’s Day Out and St. Christopher families. We will focus upon addressing community needs through a systemic lens, moving from a charitable model towards one of education and self-sufficiency. To begin this work, we will:
Phase II will consist of expansion projects.
Phase III will include the physical expansion of the garden and orchard.
What’s next? We are actively seeking grant funds and donations from several Episcopal entities, as well as retail companies. Potential corporate partners include: H.E.B. Grocers and Home Depot, to name two among the many corporations that support the environment, education, nutrition and food sustainability, community partnerships, and youth/families through charitable giving.
One of the ways we will seek to create operating funds and sustainability is through a model partnership with our neighbors at Lakeside Lutheran Church. Lakeside has been operating a produce cooperative for two years, currently with 50 members. Such a partnership, already in the preliminary phase, will allow us to broaden our volunteer base, as well as widen our outreach through Lakeside’s existing relationship with Stewart Elementary School, Kemah.
I ask that you prayerfully consider this exciting call to action as St. Christopher forges and strengthens community partnerships in not only feeding, but NOURISHING the hungry, particularly our area children and families.
Please join the Providence Gardens Steering Committee!
Garden Ministry Leader
In conjunction with the 10th Annual Bay Area Community BBQ & Festival, we will be holding a Garden Market Plant Sale, Saturday October 17th, 11am-3pm! Annuals, perennials, and fall vegetables and herbs will be available, along with advice and guidance from experts!