Tag Archives: gardeners

Community Gardens – Growing Hope

Columbus Community Garden © Larry Hamill

Columbus Community Garden © Larry Hamill

An industrial area off W. 5th Ave. seems an unlikely place for a community garden, yet tucked away there lies the East 8th Ave. Faith Mission homeless shelter. Within view of the Rumpke Recycle Center, colorful plastic wading pools dot a small plot of land behind the shelter. Vegetables spring from the soil filled pools – an unexpected use of objects designed for childhood summer fun.

Operated by Lutheran Social Services, the shelter’s garden is overseen by Dr. Job Ebenezer, along with help from church volunteers. The vegetables are planted in pools containing store bought soil, explains Dr. Ebenezer, because of possible ground contamination from nearby industry.

Working to help feed the homeless is just one of Dr. Ebenezer’s gardening projects. He also maintains a community garden at his local church on Morse Road.  Through the Helping Hands Clinic, the church offers free vegetables to parishioners in need and then sells any remaining produce to raise money for Ebenezer’s organization, Technology for the Poor.

Based on the philosophy of George Washington Carver, an African American scientist who taught sustainable agriculture to poor farmers, Ebenezer continues to address the needs of the under served through Technology for the Poor.

Pedal Power

One of his inventions converts a standard bicycle into a device that can shell corn and peanuts, thresh rice, cut wood and pump water.  Visit YouTube to see Pedal Power at work.

For more info on Dr. Ebenezer’s work, visit Technology for the Poor.

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Mid-Ohio Foodbank Welcomes Home Gardeners

 Jalapenos © Pamela J. Willits

Jalapenos at Mid-Ohio Foodbank © Pamela J. Willits

Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s This Is Hunger brochure sums it up best – Hunger is not a one-organization issue, it’s a community issue.

As part of the local gardening community, I recently bundled up the surplus from my home garden and delivered it to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s warehouse on West Mound street.

There I had the opportunity to spend some time with Christina Christian, MOFB’s digital marketing manager. The Mid-Ohio Foodbank jumped on the social media marketing train long before must of us realized it had already left the station.

With a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, Christina spends a portion of her day promoting fund raisers and food drives through social media. On-line networking sites have expanded their audience, helping to broadcast their message beyond the reach of their mailing list.

Since the economic downturn, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has seen a 30% increase in need. Serving as a distribution point, the MOFB supplies food to more than 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and senior housing sites in central and eastern Ohio.

The statistics are staggering. Forty-four percent of those in need have had to choose between food and heat or electricity, twenty-nine percent have had to choose between food and shelter, thirty-eight percent of all requests involve children and fourteen percent are for senior citizens.


The good news is that their weighty commitment has them handling over 30 million pounds of food each year. And for every dollar they receive from donors, they distribute $8 worth of groceries. Thanks to the value of their non-profit status buying power, they’ve elevated stretching the dollar to an art form.

Come this October, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank will be stretching those dollars even further as they move into a new LEED certified (environmental friendly) warehouse in Grove City. The move will also triple their storage space.

My Garden Tomatoes © Pamela J. Willits

My Garden Tomatoes © Pamela J. Willits

So, while it’s too late to re-think this year’s backyard garden, it’s never too early to start planning for how you could expand your existing garden to create a surplus to share next summer. And between now and then, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank will still welcome any donation of fresh produce.

For up-to-date info and events, Join their Fan Page on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter @Mid_OHFoodbank or Call 614.274.7770.

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Filed under Non-Profit, Social Media