By Bethany BROWN
With the help from volunteers local food garden will again be feeding families in need.
The Crescenta Valley Lions Club was recently awarded a grant by the California Lions Club to replenish the community garden at St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church.
Since the development of the garden in 2012 the CV Lions have worked with the St. Luke’s Food for Justice program to grow and provide fresh fruits and vegetables for those in need. Each season typically determines when crops are grown but onions, garlic, radishes, peppers and assorted parsley and cilantro tend to be grown consistently year-round. In partnership with St. Luke’s Garden Club, the goal is to aid in feeding hungry families that rely on local food programs.
The CV Lions will be hosting two workdays to kick off the garden project; Saturday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 20 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Moving forward there are plans to implement a regular meeting schedule and volunteer program. The hope is to renew the soils and boost production to make it possible to feed more families.
June Mack, an administrator on the project and Lions member, said volunteers are welcomed and greatly appreciated. Youth organizations like Prom Plus and the CVHS and Clark Magnet LEO Clubs will also be lending a hand.
“This is a project to bring people together in service and build community outside of just the Lions and the church,” Mack said. “The more people the merrier, even if you just want to watch! We’d love your help to feed as many hungry families as we can.”
Mack also emphasized the hope to start a compost program and to educate the community on the importance of urban farming. She said that people knowing how to grow their own crops is becoming increasingly necessary to provide access to sustainable, affordable food sources. Providing healthful food in a way that reduces energy costs of food production is a major environmental benefit of urban farms.
“We want young folks to know how you can have a thriving garden even in the city or in an urban setting,” she added. Doing so can reduce transportation costs, boost the local economy and lead to better air quality, along with many other benefits.
Kim Sandoval – CV Lions special events coordinator – echoed Mack’s desire to increase production of the garden.
“I saw that [the garden] needed a lot of help, so I was able to secure the grant to award the club and the rest is history,” she joked. “Hopefully now, with more volunteers, community outreach and the ability to purchase more gardening tools and supplies, there will be an ongoing larger harvest that can serve more and more families.”
She stressed that anyone who is interested in participating is welcome to come and that June and she are always available if the community needs anything. The CV Lions Club meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. on church grounds, 2563 Foothill Blvd. For questions or to sign up to volunteer in the upcoming weeks email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lions Clubs International is the largest non-profit service organization in the world, with over one million members in over 200 countries. Lions have been active in California for the past century and are committed to providing life-changing services for the visually and hearing impaired as well as humanitarian support in areas such as the environment, diabetes, pediatric cancer, and eliminating hunger.