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Church garden program providing fresh food

St. Patrick’s tops 1,300 pounds of healthy food

St. Patricks Marian White harvest okra from this year’s stand in the Food for a Thousand garden at the church. (Special photo: Norris Wootton)

St. Patricks Marian White harvest okra from this year’s stand in the Food for a Thousand garden at the church. (Special photo: Norris Wootton)

ALBANY — The Food for a Thousand garden program at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church recently passed a milestone, of 1,000 pounds of fresh vegetables produced, harvested, and distributed to local food pantries such as Neighbors in Need and The Lord’s Pantry.

To date, the garden has provided almost 1,300 pounds of healthy food.

Physical work on “Food for a Thousand” actually began in early 2013 on the project envisioned by Juby Phillips of Albany and carried out through the donation and volunteer-recruitment efforts of Brenda Gray. Numerous laborers from the parish’s congregation have also donated many hours both initially and on a weekly basis harvesting crops of tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers, broccoli, beets, and others to help feed people in need.

The first couple of years have been an educational experience for the organizers and volunteers and they hope to utilize lessons learned in the future. Also, blueberries bushes have been planted to add a new aspect to future harvests. Additional fundraisers, such as March’s “Lap a Leprechaun”, are also expected in the future.