Upstate Circle of Friends and volunteers clean community garden for MLK Day

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (FOX Carolina) – Dozens of organizations across the North held community service opportunities on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. An organization seeks to improve access to healthy, nutritious food in their backyards.

These volunteers’ Monday jobs required getting their hands dirty.

“We were working here today,” said Toya Moore, Upstate Circle of Friends’ Youth Empowerment Services program coordinator. “We were actually helping beautify the front line, so we were raking leaves and picking up trash,” she said.

The Upstate Circle of Friends welcomed nearly 100 volunteers to MLK Day. Includes 45 students from Bob Jones University.

Community Service Council President Erica Guell said:

The organization primarily serves the Belle Meade area, which has over 600 homes in the area. We offer after-school activities as well as meals for children and seniors. Soon they will also offer greener options.

“We are in a food desert, so our goal with this organic garden is to help the community,” said Delores Pinson, founder and president of Upstate Circle of Friends. increase.

After the nearby Bi-Lo closed years ago, Pinson says it took a toll on the community. Many people cannot drive miles to the next grocery store.

“The purpose of this farm is to eliminate food insecurity,” said farm and garden manager Kim Gibson.

In the spring, Gibson says, the garden regularly grows broccoli, turnip leaves, carrots, lettuce, eggplant, and herbs.

“We rely heavily on grocery stores, fast food and restaurants for food,” she said.

As such, the garden does more than provide the Belle Mead community with easy access to fresh produce. They even teach you how to create and grow your own garden.

There is a lot of work to be done before we can do that. But it’s a job volunteers say they enjoy.

“Students want to come back again and again because when they get out there, they realize oh, this isn’t just a job. It’s fun,” Guell said.

“Everyone who comes to the garden will be able to let go of their inhibitions and start breathing deeply without realizing they’ve been holding their breath and just enjoy the outdoor space,” Gibson said.

Soon, the organization will begin hosting a market where people can come to the garden and pick their own vegetables.

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