Manna Meal Gardens kicked off their season today with a few volunteers diving their hands into the dirt. Manna Meal, a social service organization based out of Charleston, WV makes it their mission to feed the hungry.
The garden provides plenty of organic, local-grown produce that is distributed to various organizations in the area, such as Covenant House and Heart and Hand Outreach Ministries. The produce is meant to feed the hungry with no questions asked.
Manna Meal Garden Management Intern, Emily Hunt said, “Manna Meal’s mission is so the hungry can eat and so that’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re growing food so the hungry can eat whether that be in Manna Meal soup kitchen, or from a food bank somewhere in the local area. We’re growing food for the people eat.”
The Garden is operating for it’s third year at the Rock Lake Community Life Center in South Charleston. The center use to be a natural spring-fed swimming pool but has since then been filled in. However, the garden benefits from spring water that behaves like a natural irrigation system.
All volunteers are welcome and for retiree Patricia Paul, she enjoys getting out of the house and having a space to practice a beloved hobby – gardening.
“I just think it’s a good thing, we’d love to have more volunteers out here, but we work hard and take pleasure out of it,” said Paul.
She also says it doesn’t feel like work because of the surroundings you’re working in. “I mean look at the setting, it’s great! You got the quarry here and when the flowers are in bloom, it’s really just gorgeous.”
Once Hunt steps back to grab a drink of water and take a break, she said to see the garden flourish and see the volunteers hard at work is fulfilling.
“It makes me proud to see everyone down here working. It makes me feel good ’cause I know we’re down here for a good cause. I know the food here is going to a good cause and you just kind of feel love when you’re down here,” said Hunt.
Manna Meal Garden is open every Saturday and Tuesday from 9-11am and runs through until December. If you would like to volunteer, contact Manna Meal Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Peters at (304) 345-7121. Or reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.