About UsCommunity AffairsFill the Fridge


Fill the Fridge: Community gardens play important role in providing fresh produce for those in need

Community gardens help KC food pantries provide fresh produce
Posted at 10:53 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 11:55:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Community gardens across Kansas City are playing an increasingly important role in ensuring those facing hunger concerns have access to fresh produce.

Harvesters Community Food Network relies on donations from those community gardens to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to families across Kansas City.

FILL THE FRIDGE | How you can help

Lori Saving works with the Metro Lutheran Ministry Community Garden and Orchard. She says it is a blessing and an honor to be able to help out.

“Just even the taste of the tomato that you’ve grown is so much different,” Saving said. “I don’t even buy tomatoes in the store in the wintertime because I’m spoiled.”

Saving says those who receive donations from the community gardens are appreciative of her and her team’s efforts.

Harvesters estimate that more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce from the MLM garden went to those in need in 2021.

Roughly 30 percent of all food distributed at Harvesters is now donated fresh produce. It’s one less thing the food bank has to purchase with its own budget.

Elizabeth Gooch works at the community garden at her employer, Catalent. The company is a global pharmaceutical company that uses its garden to make a local impact.

“By eating local produce, we’re cutting back on our greenhouse gas emissions because we’re not having to pay to truck food,” Gooch said. “We’re going to pull our tomatoes when they’re bright red and ready to eat because they bruise in mass transit.”

Gooch put her effort at Catalent straightforwardly.

“You come to work and ultimately, you’re doing good,” Gooch said.