FPC has a history of feeding the hungry through many projects that serve those experiencing a difficult time. These include breakfast in Pritchard Park, A-Hope’s Safe Haven, lunch at Church of the Advocate, and Saturday Sanctuary to name a few.
This year, Michael Poulos and Jane Laping worked with staff at the Black Mountain Home for Children to develop a new Presbytery-wide project that would provide fresh produce for the Home and for area food banks to distribute to those who needed some extra help. Another purpose of the project is to teach gardening skills to the volunteers from area churches who would maintain the garden and to reward them with surplus produce from the garden.
Over the course of 3 months, we planted and harvested kale, radishes, peas, beans, summer squash, patty pan squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes and delivered it to MANNA, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries, and the Swannanoa Welcome Table, as well as to our Hope to Home partner.
The design of the project was good in theory, but in reality only a few volunteers came from churches other than FPC-Asheville. However, those who did participate were richly rewarded with the satisfaction of providing the hungry with fresh and healthier vegetables to add to their meager diets. Many thanks to those who got their hands dirty and broke a sweat this summer and made this project possible: Bobby Robinson, Ann Kieffer, Ellen Davis, Jean and Erin Corliss, Elaine Bagley, Esther Pardue, Mark, Pat and Charlotte Burnham, Susie Jameson and Kate, Julie Lehman and Nicholas and Sophie Poulos, and Laura Traylor, Conrad and Olivia.
Next year we are considering a scarecrow contest and a recipe book for garden produce among other ideas to stir up interest among area churches so the Garden Project can grow to its full size.