Seed to Feed: Donating fresh produce to area food pantries


People who are in need of help sometimes turn to food pantries. But something they don't see a lot of is fresh produce.

A local group is trying to change that. It's donated more than 30,000 pounds of produce just this Summer. Most of it to local pantries in Elkhart County.

"Seed to Feed" works with local churches. It wants to help provide healthier food options for those who get their meals from local food pantries.

Coordinator Wanda Weirich and other volunteers have spent the past three summers planting, growing and harvesting this garden. All because they want to help others in need.

"We have a good time working together out here and knowing that we are doing it for somebody else. It's not just for us. It's for somebody else. And we are hoping that they enjoy the stuff. Realize and learn to use it the way that we've grown up using it ourselves,” said Weirich.

The group first started with two-thirds of an acre. Because of the heavy work load the group decreased the size.

Weirich says it hasn't stopped the garden from prospering.

"So far this year we have 7,358 pounds of things of produce that we've taken over. It's like beets, carrots, cabbage, green beans. You know a big variety of stuff," she said.

Coordinator Morgan Short says this idea started six years ago when two men wanted to provide more than canned foods.

"It's now grown to 12 gardens. It just started out with two and this year with our 12 gardens. We have about 30,000 pounds of produce that have been brought in,” Short said.

Short says it's a good way for church members to come together to plant seeds and change lives.

"Often times you won't know the person sitting across from you in the congregation. But then when you're out working in the garden pulling green beans together you really start to build relationships and connections with people that you wouldn't have otherwise,” Short said.

The grown produce is taken to 15 pantries and other food donation centers throughout Elkhart County.

Seed to Feed also provides fresh meat for pantry guests.

The season is almost over but you can find out how to become a part of next summer's crop.

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