Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Salvation Army staff and kids pose in front of their garden

Community garden to support Northeast Minneapolis

Added on Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Seven years ago, the Minneapolis NE Central Ave Salvation Army staff wanted to provide fresh vegetables to people in their community. With the help of some passionate volunteers, they were able to start a garden on site.

Today, Jesse Wondra, the Out of School Time Director, oversees the garden with the help of the kids involved in the summer day camp program.

“Two or three times a summer we do a big gardening event with the kids,” said Wondra. “They pull weeds, water, and see how the vegetables are growing. Then at the end of the summer, they get to pick the produce.”

After the produce is picked, it’s put directly into their food shelf and given to the community of Northeast Minneapolis.

“It’s empowering for the kids to be part of a project that will benefit the community,” said Lt. Jessica Martinez of the Minneapolis NE Central Ave. Salvation Army. “This is a great opportunity for them to learn and help people at the same time.”

Last year during August, September and October, the garden yielded 140 pounds of vegetables. Wondra anticipates a similar harvest this year.

Tomatoes growing on the vineThe next gardening event is likely to happen over the upcoming two to three weeks, as soon as the tomatoes are ripe. The peppers and green beans are coming shortly behind. Once the produce hits the food shelves families are able to come pick out 3 to 8 pounds, depending on their household size.

“It’s a blessing to be able to give this produce away,” said Martinez. “We want to send people home with high-quality produce that they can trust, and with this garden we are able to do that.”

If you have an abundance of homegrown produce, consider donating to any of our food shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota. The best produce to donate includes snap peas, beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and potatoes. Find your nearest Salvation Army by typing in your ZIP code above.

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