“You’re enabling lazy people to live off your food and government hand outs while they buy lobster and liquor with food stamps while watching a tv on a 50″ flat screen.”
This, or a variation of the above is something I hear on an ongoing basis since I started Helping Feed Atlanta.
The first time I posted this was October of 2014 but it seems that I need to repost it a couple times a year because, well… because…
A friend asked a very important question, — why don’t the people I help feed, grow their own vegetables and become less dependent?
These are fair and valid questions, so I thought I’d help shed some light on the subject. My volunteers and I deliver food to at least six organizations with people in need every week, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned.
Fugees Family is based in Clarkston, Ga. These are kids from war-torn countries worldwide. Back in 3/2012, the Fugees and a lot of volunteers helped build six raised bed gardens, tended by the students.
Read all about the process on my friend Pattie Baker’s blog. Six raised beds of veggies, but not enough, so I drop off donated food to help.
Malachi’s Storehouse is an outreach program sponsored by St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, who help feed a couple hundred families each Wednesday. Behind the church, there is a huge veggie garden, tended by volunteers, many of which are people in need who come by to pick up a week’s worth of food. ***The same people don’t come week after week for years as one might think; in fact, most are there for an average of 5 weeks when times are tough and move on when things get better. Unfortunately, many of the clients are not allowed to have gardens in their apartment complex.
The huge garden yields pounds and pounds of veggies but it’s not enough so I along with other organizations drop off donated food to help.
City of Refuge a women and children’s shelter in a rough part of town has a high tech hydroponic garden along with raised bed gardens that seems to be expanding every time I visit. They grow beautiful organic veggies that help feed the 150 residents.
The large garden is very productive but it’s not enough so I along with other organizations, drop off donated food to help.
Atlanta Mission is a homeless men’s shelter and food pantry across from the new Center for Civil and Human Rights. Unfortunately the men either live on the street or in the shelter where there is no place to garden. The men who live in the shelter are in a work program designed to get them back in the main stream of society. It takes time and I’ve talked to many men who have gotten their lives back together.
update*** I just came from Atlanta Mission. I’ve always known that there were at least 12 raised bed gardens across from their complex, I was incorrest, there are 40 raised bed gardens!!! The gardens are theirs and are tended by the men in the program.
Unfortunately it’s not enough, so I, along with other organization,s drop off donated food to help.
So, to answer those questions . . . why the people Helping Feed Atlanta help feed don’t grow their own vegetables and become less dependent?
The answer is: those that are able, do.
It was a very good question that I think many might have wondered themselves, and if anyone has any questions, please ask and if i don’t know the answer maybe someone else will. It helps learn about a world that most people can’t relate to and most of us thankfully will never know.
Pictured are Atlanta Union Mission and Malachi’s Storehouse’s Garden of Eatin’.