(WLNS) – The Greater Lansing Food Bank reopened the Garden Resource Center, which feeds thousands of people healthy foods they can grow in their own backyard.
Volunteers help those in need feed themselves, and their families healthy and fresh foods all summer long.
Gardening and growing food is something Patrick Shepman says keeps him alive in more way than one.
“I am disabled and it gives me the opportunity to get out of the house,” Shepman said.
Shepman is just one of thousands who use the GLFB Garden Resource Center to get free seeds, plants, tools and instructions.
“You get to watch the difference of how you grow and how they fro and you can improve yourself,” Shepman explained.
GLFB Media Specialist Justin Rumenapp says the garden has been around for decades as a way to provide a need the food pantries don’t.
“We really want people to have more fresh food, fresh produce, that’s what they’ve told us is important to them,” Rumenapp said.
Shepman, a former farmer of 17 years is one of those people.
“I would rather get all of the fresh fruit and vegetables than go to the food pantry.”
The volunteers who offer their hands and gardening advice at the resource center say they can see how the joy of these seeds is helping to grow their community.
“Just the reaction of people and how grateful they are to be getting the free benefits, the seeds, the plants,” Greater Lansing Food Bank volunteer Kathy Bishop said.
For Shepman, he doesn’t stop at growing foods for himself, he also gardens for other, which is why he is a regular here every week.
“Whatever is available, I grab it.”
Each person is allowed up to 26 seed packets and 12 plants per week.