Summer is one of the hungriest times of the year and increasing fuel and food prices bring additional challenges for families. Imagine surviving on a diet that never included fruits and vegetables. The quality of food you eat can impact your physical and mental health, so eating a balanced diet is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
At Urban Ministries of Wake County, we know all too well that foods high in nutritional value are likely to be of reach for our food-insecure neighbors. For that reason and others, we are committed to providing access to nutritious food to all.
Our garden is an integral part of our organization that provides nutritious fruits and vegetables to help close the summer meal gap. Being a garden volunteer is not for the faint of heart. They do everything from the rewarding, like harvesting, to the downright dirty tasks, like shoveling mulch and soil into new beds in the middle of summer every Monday and Thursday. These challenging tasks can involve aches, sweat, and more sweat, but there is never a complaint from the volunteers, only a knowing smile and comment about taking ibuprofen.
Rain or shine, heat or bitter cold, our committed garden volunteers have formed a camaraderie that is truly unique. They have the spirit of getting things done no matter what–truly one of a kind. After tending to the garden several members trade their work clothes for white coats to volunteer as physicians in the Open Door Clinic, committed to community health.
“There’s no such thing as a green thumb,” one volunteer gardener says as he tends to the soil around the budding okra. Some of the items on the menu this summer are cucumber, squash, carrots, and okra–they even dropped off 35 lbs. worth to our food pantry that sunny morning. The group harvests up to 10,000 lbs. of produce each year.
As we settle into the season, there are several ways you can join the fight against summer hunger:
Donate to the Cause. Building a better community starts with a gift of any amount.
Start Your Own Drive. Starting a fundraiser online or in person is an easy way to make a difference.
Volunteer. Finally, if you want to be on the frontlines fighting hunger, we happily invite you to explore the various volunteer opportunities.
You can learn more ways to get involved here.