This article by Courtney Tschida originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Northern Gardener.
Our 2020 Minnesota Green sign-ups and seed pick-ups are well under way—with a few accommodations to keep everything at a distance. More than 60 community, school, church and public gardens have already joined the program this year!
Among our Minnesota Green gardens are two community gardens run by volunteers from breweries that are sharing their harvest with The Sheridan Story, a Roseville-based nonprofit group that fights child hunger. The Sheridan Story has been among the groups that have organized to provide meals to children and their families during the coronavirus outbreak. More than 750,000 meals have been provided so far.
In 2015, volunteers with Surly Brewing Co.’s SGAD (Surly Gives a Damn) started renting planting beds from a community garden and donating the food they grew. Since 2016, they have been working with The Sheridan Story to distribute their harvest. Based on the SGAD model, volunteers from Dangerous Man Brewing Co. started a similar growing project in 2017 in a community garden. In 2019, these community gardens donated over 2,000 pounds of vegetables to The Sheridan Story, Head Start and the Islamic Community Center of Minnesota.
What began with providing food for 27 kindergartners at Sheridan Elementary School each weekend in 2010 has grown into serving 6,500 kids in over 200 schools in 2019. The Sheridan Story has run a summer program distributing food from their community garden partners to feed students’ families mid-July through September via free mini-CSA shares. To expand their summer produce program, The Sheridan Story recently received approval for a new garden space at its facility. Plans for handling food distribution during this very unusual situation are ongoing, but we know Minnesotans will step up to help our children and their families.
You can support MSHS and its community outreach programs through May 8 during the #GiveatHomeMN program.