For Darla Stewart and other Waverly First United Methodist Church members, a garden project has become a hands-on mission.
Stewart, an administrative assistant at the church, said the garden was planted this year to grow fresh food for the community and to raise funds for an overseas project through the Foods Resource Bank.
Stewart said the children who attend the church’s Sunday School program have been working on the garden to grow peas, lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables. An acre of sweet corn was recently added.
This is teaching the children about charity, Stewart said. “It’s not just throwing money at something,” she said. “It’s actually doing mission [work] with their hands and their hearts to help others.”
The Fremont area Foods Resource Bank (FRB) Growing Project, in partnership with the John Deere Foundation (JDF) and local 4-H clubs, has been honored to have Lydia Breen (Ensley/Newaygo Co. 4-H) and Brendan Carroll (Grant Livestock 4-H) join them in “growing lasting solutions to world hunger.”
The purpose of this collaboration, new in 2014,is to encourage agricultural learning among 4-H youth and to teach them about the development work FRB carries out overseas to help reduce world hunger.
FRB's Nicaragua - Boaco program trains young adults to become leaders, equiping them with the skills to teach others in their community about the benefits of sustainable farming practices.
Looking back at her life before skills training, Prosy, a 23-year-old woman with a disability in her left leg, wonders where she would be if not for the food security, livelihood and entrepreneurship skills training she’s received from FRB’s Uganda-Kireka Lweza program at the Lweza Rehabilitation Center for disabled youth.
Rehabilitation Center students are disproving the widespread Ugandan belief that people with disabilities are unable to care for themselves or contribute to their communities. These students are now earning incomes, growing their own food, selling or bartering their extra production, starting small business, training others and working as consultants.
Recently I was invited to dinner with the Vanden Bosch family, a family that in 2011 solicited help for a school project (see “Children Give Up Treat to Help Others in Need”). They followed that up in 2012 by giving up pizza for 6 weeks and documenting the amount they would have spent every time they thought about having pizza during that six weeks.