Community Garden built beside Food Bank

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Dennis Hamm and Tom Cooledge were among the volunteers who lent their support to the Community Garden project which was completed at the Salvation Army Food Bank building in Swift Current this past Saturday.

A small but dedicated group of volunteers tackled the job of completing a Community Garden beside the Salvation Army Food Bank building in Swift Current this past Saturday.

An initiative of the Southwest Food Security Committee, the Community Garden will provide fresh garden produce to supplement foods distributed by the Food Bank plus support cooking programming at the Salvation Army.

Project coordinator Caroline Barrington said the project came together in approximately one month, with local businesses quick to lend their support to the project. They also received a boost when the Lions Club of Swift Current constructed the 10 garden boxes for the project. Maintenance of the garden boxes will be coordinated through the Food Bank Manager, and will involve a series of local groups.

She feels it was a true community effort to ensure this project became a reality.

"I think the benefit is for the community working to build it. Also we're going to have different agencies, such as the Abilities Council, doing the ongoing maintenance in conjunction with the Food Bank Manager. So that's also creating a little more community," Barrington said at the start of Saturday's volunteer effort. "I hope that people will stop by and have a look at the garden growing. It's just a place people can come and sit and enjoy the weather."

She is also pleased to see the addition of organically grown material for the Food Bank, with produce fresh out of the garden supplying improved nutritional value than items trucked into the region.

"I'm a big proponent of locally grown and locally produced food - organic if it can be as much as possible. And just really getting people a little closer to the source of their food."

The project was realized through the support of the Southwest Food Security Committee, and umbrella group which has representation from Mental Health, Salvation Army, Family Resource Centre, Cypress Health Region, plus others.

"They really made this happen. I had an idea in my head but I couldn't have put it together without them backing the idea."

Organizations: Southwest Food Security Committee, Salvation Army Food Bank, Family Resource Centre

Geographic location: Swift Current

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