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Historic Greenwood church, volunteers grow produce garden to combat hunger

Food insecurity garden
Posted at 9:51 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 09:48:56-04

TULSA, Okla. — Vernon Chapel AME Church and Cooperation Tulsa are teaming up to combat food insecurity in north Tulsa.

Friday, the group met to start on the 4x8 foot raised garden beds they hope to have ready to pick May 31.

“We are just optimistic about how this could help increase the positive health outcomes for people in our community," said Reverend Robert Turner with Vernon Chapel AME Church.

The coronavirus pandemic caused one of America's hungriest states to grow even hungrier. A spokesperson for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma told 2 Works for You that about one-in-five Oklahomans are food insecure, including one-in-three Oklahoma children.

"You already have food insecurities, but now you have financial insecurity, as well, and now you have the perfect storm," Turner said.

Turner and the church began its food pantry program, God Provides Feeding, in March 2020 to combat rising hunger pain from the pandemic. It served over 100,000 nutrition-rich, delivered meals to those in need in north Tulsa.

The promise of a produce garden will allow them to pick and plate the food.

"This is probably the most important project that anyone could be working on this year," Hollie Wall Dalenberg, a farming specialist with Cooperation Tulsa, said. "It has been a long time coming, and we have to start somewhere. So, we're starting here, and we're starting now."

The group said its goal is to also make this project an educational one. Gardeners will teach community members how to grow their own produce at home.

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