What’s growing this summer? Community and sustainable food security. Thanks to Hands in Service and their wonderful volunteers and sponsors there will be Living

 Salads—The Portable Community Garden, full of tomatoes, parsley, chives, leaf lettuce, and Swiss chard that will replenish throughout the season. Living Salads is a project of Hands in Service to bring the “outdoors, in” with portable community gardens for housebound and mobility challenged community members who are not able to get out.

On May 29th, our team of assemblers put together over 1,000 plants into 125 planters donated by Bylands Garden Centre, Kel-Lake Greenhouses, The Greenery, Growers Supply, RONA, and Walter Vegt. We also acknowledge the generous support of the Central Okanagan Foundation who provided financial support to make this project possible. The next morning our dedicated team of volunteers delivered Living Salads to waiting clients from West Kelowna to Ellison, creating opportunities for sustainable, fresh produce. Volunteers will join us over the growing season to assist clients, one-on-one, for about one half hour per week from the beginning of June to mid-September in their efforts to build capacity, sustainability, and community.

 

Hands in Service provides free, compassionate and relational, non-medical home care, referral services, and food security assistance through individuals, groups, businesses, and churches to vulnerable clients struggling with disability, financial, and social limitations. You will rarely see our clients on the street and will seldom hear about their struggles. Hands in Service works with clients who endure unnoticed the challenges of disability and pain in isolation.

Our community health check—VitalSigns 2011—has identified that our communities need more inclusive services for persons with disabilities and that community gardens are a key element in making cities socially and environmentally sustainable.  Community gardens contribute to the well-being of our community by stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, providing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, and even reducing crime.