community

Community garden provides refugees with support and comfort through pandemic

A community garden in Seattle, Washington is providing a place for immigrants and refugees to come together and find community while growing food from their home countries.

Once a neglected parking lot, the garden, known as Paradise Parking Plots, is now a place for people to gather and tend to their plants.

Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)
Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)

“We have de-paved over 50,000 square feet of asphalt and put in garden beds,” said Tahmina Martelly, a program manager for World Relief Seattle, which founded the garden. “We have 44 in-ground beds and six handicap access beds. We have people from 23 countries growing culturally appropriate foods and making friends with each other.”

Martelly, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh and has worked in refugee resettlement for more than two decades, said that the space has only become more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)
Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)

“We see gardeners in this garden who are coming in the middle of a pandemic and growing their food,” Martelly said. “Often, I’ll have gardeners tell me, ‘My plants don’t know there’s a pandemic. We expect to have food, because we put the work in.’ Having the power to grow your own food, a virus can’t take that away.”

Gardeners include Prem Adhikari, a Bhutanese refugee who grows mustard greens and long sod beans and has been working in the garden for over three years.

“It’s very difficult to go to market and buy the vegetable … (but) we have a garden, like a life to meet other people,” Adhikari said. “… It’s a lot of fresh, green, without chemical vegetables.”

Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable in the United States. (Hannah Letinich)
Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable

Brookshire brings community kitchen to Acadiana to help feed those affected by Hurricane Delta | News

Brookshire Grocery Co., the company that owns Super 1 Foods, is deploying a community kitchen and a team of employee-partners to serve free hot meals to people who have been affected by Hurricane Delta in Acadiana, according to a statement from the company.

Starting Sunday, a team will serve sausage biscuits for breakfast and hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch and dinner in the Super 1 Foods parking lots listed below, while supplies last at each location.

Sunday

11:30 a.m. — 215 W. Willow St. in Lafayette

5 p.m. — 924 Rees St. in Breaux Bridge

Monday

8 a.m. — 939 S. Lewis St. in New Iberia

11:30 a.m. — 939 S. Lewis St. in New Iberia

5 p.m. — 2210 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville

Tuesday 

11:30 a.m. — 1800 W. Laurel St. in Eunice

5 p.m. — 2418 S. Union St. in Opelousas

Wednesday

8 a.m. — 2418 S. Union St. in Opelousas

Despite widespread damage and outages, a sigh of relief that Delta wasn’t worse in Acadiana

Hundreds of thousands still without power in Louisiana, more than 20k in East Baton Rouge

Lafayette, Vermilion school districts opt to cancel school early next week after Hurricane Delta damage

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Ashland Community Kitchen provides help to those in need

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — Judith Little stood outside The Neighborhood in Ashland on Thursday, waiting for a ride back to her apartment. She had come specifically to the Ashland Community Kitchen, with the hope of getting one of the boxes of food it gives out once a month. She was not disappointed, and said that all of the people she has met at The Neighborhood are good people and very helpful.

“I get their food boxes every time I can,” Little said. “They are real good about it, and they have a thing going on about seniors. If you are a senior, they have senior boxes with a lot of food in them. They have helped me a lot,” Little said. “And I come over here and eat during the week when they serve food, too,” she said.


Little said the food boxes go a long way for her toward helping ends meet. She has lived in Ashland for five years, and for the first six months of that time she was homeless, she said. But the network of organizations at The Neighborhood has helped her overcome that.

“Without them I would be on the streets,” she said. “But they helped me get an apartment, and helped with other things. They have been really good for me,” Little said. “God works in mysterious ways, and you have to have faith.”

Dr. Desmond Barrett, executive director of the kitchen, said the community box program was born from a desire to help families and those who are struggling to help make ends meet at the end of the month.

“In our program, we have been serving nearly 40 years in the soup kitchen, where we have been helping the homeless and anyone truly in need,” Barrett said. “And we have been serving

St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan creatively continues to serve the community

SKOWHEGAN — The cars continue to line up and roll through, while others walk up wearing masks.

The images of this weekly labor of love look different than they did just eight months ago, but it’s Thursday night, which means a free dinner is available to all who need one thanks to the volunteers at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan.

“It’s going well. Our numbers increase every week,” said Aldea LeBlanc, coordinator of the kitchen.

St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, located in the parish hall of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church on Water Street, offered a free, sit-down, hot meal for anyone in need every Thursday night prior to the start of the pandemic in March. The ministry is entirely volunteer run.

“The meals were suspended until early June when the soup kitchen resumed again,” said Nora Natale, office manager at Christ the King Parish, of which the soup kitchen is a part. “Most of the crew was more than ready to see our guests again.”

“The need is so great here,” said Fr. James Nadeau, pastor of Christ the King Parish.

The diners are currently not allowed in the parish hall due to the pandemic, but nobody involved was willing to give up this important ministry that has helped thousands of community members through the years.

Now, volunteers wear masks and practice social distancing, the meals are served in a drive-thru format in the parking lot of the church and other recipients participate through take-out service.

While the delivery methods have changed, what has not is the appeal of the meals, which have included pork chops, barbecue chicken, and many other delectable choices.

“We also provide a vegetable and fruit of some kind, as well as donated desserts and bread,” said Aldea. “The meals are served from 4:30 to

Garden oasis in downtown Omaha grows food and community | Home & Garden

A once-empty plot of land at 13th and Leavenworth Streets is growing food, flowers and community.

Amy Walstrom, who works downtown, has watched the transformation of the Sacred Seed Pop-up Garden on her daily walks. After the Warren Distribution building there was torn down in 2017, the lot has changed from a weedy patch to a haven for pollinators and birds — and people.

“It’s lovely,’’ Walstrom said. “The colors, the variety of plants. The fact that they have labeled what all the different plants are, so if I wanted to duplicate them in my own yard it won’t be so difficult.’’

Janis Regier of Natural Therapy first had the idea for a garden after the Warren building was demolished and approached Polina Schlott, whose husband, Bob, owns the property. The Schlotts liked the idea, with the caveat that the land could someday be sold or developed. Hence the reason it’s called a pop-up garden.

The first year was rough, but then the community started to build. The Nature Conservancy became involved, as did people at Kaneko, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and No More Empty Pots. Kinghorn Gardens helped with the layout as well as Taylor Keen, founder of Sacred Seed. Many others have come