On February 14th, 2020, our U.S. team volunteered to work in a community garden right
in the heart of downtown Raleigh. This garden is run by an organization called The
Interfaith Food Shuttle. Interfaith Food Shuttle does many things that help people in our
community experiencing food insecurities such as delivering food to the elderly in
retirement homes, running a free food market in areas considered to be a food desert
(this means that there is a lack of grocery venues accessible to people without
vehicles), organizing a program called “Backpack Buddies” that sends food home from
school with children who would otherwise go hungry in the evenings and on weekends,
and running the community garden which provides fresh produce to parts of the
community where there is greater need.
Our team was given a tour of the garden and learned all about how it operates and
helps the community. The main garden is tended by the organization and volunteers.
This time of year they were growing various cabbages, collards, and baby broccoli.
There were several other raised beds that were tended by families in the community.
Jake and I had the privilege of meeting one of the community members, Clara. Clara is
a very thoughtful, talkative elderly lady. Her garden bed had been taken over by weeds.
We helped clear out all of the weeds and added fresh compost so she could plant her
seedlings as soon as they were ready. She talked about her 7 kids who were grown.
She is also a grandmother AND a great-grandmother. She reminisced about growing
up on a farm as a child and helping her mother in the garden.
Michaela, Kevin, and Andy worked with Jacob, one of the garden managers, washing
freshly picked lettuce and bagging it up so it could be handed out to the community over
the weekend along with other food and produce. We all helped cover some of the rows
in the garden to protect the plants from the cold.
It is important for us to participate in events like this. Not only do we get to learn about
what is going on in our community, we get to work together as a team outside of the
office. We get to know each other better and build comradery. We plan to organize
opportunities like this every month that will allow each one of the Team Raleigh Rezdy
crew to work together and give back to our community. Stay tuned….
Written by Traci Ruffner