Gardens to go

There is something very gratifying about knowing that the carrot or beet you are eating was nurtured by your own hands.

Increasingly, social service programs are recognizing that people need access to fresh fruits and vegetables, as a component of good health and well-being. Community garden programs are growing in popularity, as people with all kinds of living situations get their hands in the dirt and grow their own food. There is even a spin-off movement of community kitchens to prepare and preserve food in communal groups.

For people with health conditions and disabilities, nutrition is especially important, but gardening outside poses special challenges. It was that exact situation that inspired Hands in Service, a local organization serving adults with health issues, to bring the garden inside.

It’s called a “living salad” and you may have seen them in local grocery stores and nurseries. Essentially, it is a planter with a variety of salad greens and herbs that will keep on growing as the bounty is harvested. One such planter can easily keep a single adult in salad throughout the summer growing season when sunlight is readily available through windows or on a deck.

There is a small window of opportunity for Hands in Service to get this project “off the ground and into the pot” this summer, and they are hoping that community donors and volunteers will help them pull together the labour and supplies. Ideally, they would like to supply living salads to up to 100 clients this summer.

Hands In Service provides services (through a team of trained volunteers) such housekeeping, laundry and food preparation to those aged 19 – 65; and food hamper delivery, referral services and caring to all with limited resources facing medical and mobility challenges. 

Volunteers are involved as individuals or groups; with one-time, short, or long term client assignments, hamper delivery, funding, or technical and administrative support.  A little bit of help goes a very long way in enriching clients’ lives. 

What moves you to compassion and action?  For Hands in Service, it’s people in our community who suffer invisibly.  You will seldom see them on the streets and will rarely hear about their struggles.  Most of them should be in their prime, but they battle alone with disability. 

Hands in Service is holding their first ever “Walker-thon” in conjunction with “Love Kelowna” Saturday, June 16th.  They will have clients, volunteers and sponsored participants, walking and rolling along the Waterfront Boardwalk, raising awareness and funds for vulnerable community members.

Change starts because volunteers are reaching out to ensure that no one is alone. To find out more about Hands in Service, please visit http://www.handsinservice.ca/

To learn how you can be part of change, visit www.unitedwaycso.com . Be sure to “like” United Way CSO on Facebook for a chance to win a weekend in Sooke BC!

More Change Starts Here articles

About the Author

The mission of United Way is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.

We call this our Community Impact Mission. Community impact is about achieving meaningful, long-term improvements to the quality of life in Canadian communities, by addressing not just the symptoms of problems but also getting at the root causes. It’s about making fundamental changes to community conditions.

United Way is achieving this mission by moving people from poverty to possibility, promoting healthy people and strong communities, and supporting all that kids can be.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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