LINCOLN -- Many families are supplementing their meals this summer with produce from Lincoln's community garden.
The fruits and vegetables grown in the garden are donated to Grace Place in Lincoln to hand out to families in need.
Through June 29, the garden has provided raspberries, 178 peppers, 178 tomatoes, 14 cucumbers, 392 potatoes, 106 onions, 50 gallons of kale and 146 radishes to Grace Place, according to Jim Sposato, who oversees the garden for Lincoln.
"I think it's gone great this year," Sposato said. "We give it to people who can use it. There are a lot of people who need fresh vegetables who cannot afford it."
As produce is harvested, it's left at the door at Grace Place to be divided and packed to hand out to families during the week.
Several groups help Sposato but he needs volunteers to weed the garden and pick produce on the 4 1/2-acre plot. Sposato said volunteers are needed to help for several hours beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.
The garden is in its third year and has supplied food to more than 1,000 families.
This year's garden has some new items. Sposato is growing kale, corn, radishes and raspberries. Other vegetables grown are pepper, yellow and zucchini squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and okra.
"We try to grow stuff people are going to eat," Sposato said. "We're growing kale this year because it is good for you."
Sposato also increased the size of the garden this year. Rows are 180 feet long and the garden is 80 feet wide.
Kim Igo, Grace Place director, said produce from the garden is given directly to clients.
Grace Place is open three days each week to help those in need. Hours are 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
During one week, Grace Place filled 22 orders Tuesday, 27 orders Thursday and 22 orders Saturday. One order can represent from one to eight people in the family, the volunteer said.
The ministry's food pantry is at 200 W. Park St., in Lincoln. A thrift store is open to the public across the street.
NW News on 07/07/2017
Print Headline: Lincoln garden grows bigger, better