Monroe’s food bank garden fundraising for a shed
Jim Scolman file photo
The Julia V. Morris Centennial Garden, next to the Sky Valley Food Bank at 233 Sky River Parkway in Monroe, helps grow fresh fruit and vegetables for the food bank. Above, garden volunteer Lori Heffner plants cabbage starts from her home greenhouse. Julia Morris founded the food bank 47 years ago. The garden was planted in 1999 and named in Morris’ memory. Volunteers tend the garden as a community effort. To connect with them on Facebook, find the group “Friends of JVM Food Bank Garden.”
MONROE — The friends who tend the Julia V. Morris food bank garden need a shed. Heading into the week, the volunteer group was about $1,700 short of its $7,000 goal to buy the 10-by-12-foot cedar structure.
They would replace an aging greenhouse that serves as little more than a storage facility at the community garden, which grows produce for the adjacent Sky Valley Food Bank.
The greenhouse “doesn’t lock really well,” said Pat Castiglione, a Friends volunteer, so people experiencing homelessness have broken in and spent the night. “And there is no electricity to the property, so you can’t put lights in.”
The city plans to refurbish the greenhouse and move it to Monroe High School, where 4-H Club students will grow flowers for downtown planters and baskets.
The new shed, meanwhile, will house gardening supplies such as wheelbarrows, hoses, spades and pots.
Ideally, it will have a transom window on the south, facing the parking lot, and two sliding barn doors. It would be fabricated, and delivered and constructed on-site by local company Monroe Shed Depot.
The Sky Valley Food Bank would own the shed.
Last year, the group — a handful of volunteer gardeners — donated 2,489 pounds of fruit and vegetables to the food bank. This year Friends will grow pole beans, bok choi, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, peas, peppers and tomatoes. All produce goes to the food bank next door.
“We literally pick the food, wash it, and take it over there,” said Castiglione. “You can’t get much fresher than that.”
The online fundraiser deadline is the middle of March. Donate toward the new shed at www.gofundme.com/f/new-shed-fund-raiser
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