Community Garden to benefit Food Pantry at Hotel Inc.

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It's called the Food For All Community Garden and for the first time this summer it’s producing fresh vegetables and fruits that will be given to those less fortunate.

Katie Dillinger realized she was passionate about healthy food when she spent last year living on an organic farm, now she's the manager of a quarter acre garden at the Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission.

"My own passion for farming and gardening combined with a desire to help those in the community to get fresh, local, produce,” says Dillinger.

The volunteer driven garden benefits the Community Supported Agriculture Program and puts fresh produce on the shelves of Mana Mart at Hotel Inc.

"Many people who are from lower income households often purchase things that might not be as healthy, or aren't given a choice about what food they should eat," says Dillinger.

"Recently in March we did a survey of our food pantry clients and out of 52 families 37 chronic diseases were recognized within those families. We understand the importance of fresh food. When some of us need to make those choices for diabetes or heart disease but just also in prevention,” says Rhondell Miller, Executive Director, Hotel Inc.

Fonda Britt's family is just one of 170 families that Hotel Inc. serves that will now be able to take home fresh produce for her children.

"It feels good because the prices of the vegetables is very expensive, and I'm so glad they have vegetables,” says Britt.

While battling thyroid issues Britt says this will help her live a healthier lifestyle.

"I've got to start eating healthy and vegetables is what I need and less sugar. It's a blessing they have the vegetables here.”

Now they need the help of the community to serve the need.

"Children are at greater risk of hunger during the summertime, so keeping the shelves stocked and growing this local produce is just really important," says Miller.

"It is dependent on volunteers to get fresh food to those who don't have food," adds Dillinger.

Dillinger says they are taking it one season at a time but hope to have more land in the future.

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