Basket of small tomatoes with a handwritten note: take some fresh picked tomatoes

How Marieta, Sue and Julie are feeding their communities

Your friends and fellow newsletter readers Sue, Julie and Marieta shared how they’re getting more food to the people having the hardest time affording it right now.

We told you about Julie Kent, the librarian from Erie, Kansas. In 2020 the library shared seeds and plants and support. Here’s her latest update:

We continue to work towards the food issues in our town. Today we have 400+ tomato plants going in the greenhouse, 70 green peppers and assorted herbs. We will have a Plant and Seed Swap on May 5, 2023 when we will share these plants to anyone who wants to grow a garden.
We have a seed library and have helped 17 other libraries in Southeast Kansas set up libraries of their own. The library allows community members 5 packs of seeds every time they come in. We ask that if they have excess produce to share at the library. We also have community members who donate excess chicken and duck eggs to share. These are just a Grass Roots program we call We Share.

We do love grass roots projects like these – neighbor helping neighbor!

Sue Goulder from Macon County, Missouri, shared this:

Our local University of Missouri Extension office is setting up like a “garden walk” with raised planting beds at various locations in the community. The business or organization will be responsible for planting and maintaining the box but anyone In the community can take from the produce. They also partnered with a local business to start a community garden.
Just thought I would share!

Super smart way to spread out the work and the food!

One more, from Marieta Hauser, Grant County Chamber of Commerce in Kansas:

Last year, we had an over abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. We share an office building with Genesis Family Health who not only has medical and dental services in our building but they also help distribute food to needy families. I set a table up in the hallway with the excess produce with a sign saying to help themselves to the free produce. It was almost always gone at the end of the day. Another family in town puts a table at the curb with their excess and a sign saying free produce.

It can be as simple as that: put out your extra and share.

We’d love to share your stories, too, so let us know what your community is doing.

If you haven’t signed up for the Food Builds Community video/audio, feel free.

Keep shaping a better future for your town,