Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. This ancient quote still rings true today. Imagine, not only being able to gather food for your family, but being taught how to grow your own food. This thought became a reality this week at one of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut’s Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) sites. Members of the community were provided individual vegetable and herb plants as they made their way through the line of the MFP. The plants ranged from kale, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, eggplant, and onions to an array of herbs.
Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association, Social Media, and local farm, Malerba’s are who we owe our appreciation to for putting this together. A simple idea posted on United Way’s Facebook page sparked Dave Fairman at the Eastern CT Community Gardens Association to make this a reality. Having a local farm able and willing to donate hundreds of vegetable and herb plants really shows the lengths this community is willing to go to to make sure we are all taken care of. The work didn’t stop at the donations; present when the plants were distributed someone was there to teach everyone how to care for the plants, provide recipes and ideas, and give further information on how to attain even more plants. More than 95% of participants took between two and eight plants home with them and were beyond eager to begin planting their food.
This is so impactful for our community. This is taking our work of providing basic human needs and living up to it. Our job is to look and leap for that extra step. In this case, the extra step was providing and teaching people how to grow their own food. The participation and excitement from the community is what keeps us all going. Creating these connections with local business and the community is what living united is all about.