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Community Garden To Provide Fresh Produce For Soup Kitchen
by Sadie Macias, Public Relations Coordinator
published May 2017

Gardening! It's hard and dirty work. However, many hands make light work of it.

The Salvation Army here in McAllen recently found this to be true working with partners to establish a community garden. Deep South Texas Master Gardeners and First United Methodist Church Inside/Out volunteers worked tirelessly to assemble four raised planters for the garden. Donations of mulch, soil and compost mix were made by the City of McAllen Public Works Department and the City of McAllen Keep McAllen Beautiful gave $120 for two planter boxes. A $60 donation from The Salvation Army Advisory Board Member Joe DeMarino provided another planter box.

The final piece of the project, the all important plants, were donated by the United Methodist Church. Once assembled, volunteers planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, green beans, jalapeños and herbs in the raised beds. Deep South Texas Master Gardeners will be working with The Salvation Army kitchen staff and shelter guests to educate them how to best plant, grow and pick the produce that will be eventually served as part of the daily meals at the Soup Kitchen. Inside/Out volunteers also donated and assembled hygiene kits for the shelter, and repainted the front of The Salvation Army Corps.

"We are so grateful and excited about our new community garden," said Maggie Peña, Business Operations Administrator for The Salvation Army. "We can't wait to see our garden grow and be able to use the vegetables to feed those who are hungry in our community. Thank you to all who have supported this project and for your commitment to 'Doing the Most Good'."