The Brightside: Local community garden aims to nip hunger in the bud

SALISBURY, Md. – At a time of so much fear and uncertainty, volunteers at the Camden Community Garden in Salisbury are putting their energy into helping others by providing meals to children who might otherwise go hungry.

Many kids rely on school for food, but since schools are closed indefinitely, they are now relying on the kindness of people like Pastor Martin Hutchison.

Pastor Hutchison said, “I always look for opportunities to give back and I’m grateful to be able to do that.”

Pastor Hutchison is the one who runs the Camden Community Garden, something that helps feed and entertain kids in the summer months.

“The Camden Community Garden’s Goal and purpose is to be a blessing in this community,” he said.

When Pastor Hutchison heard schools would be closing a lot sooner than expected, an idea blossomed in his mind: Why not feed and entertain kids the same way he does in the summer?

“I contacted the Board of Ed and asked if there was a plan and asked if we could have 50 meals come here to the garden,” he said.

Volunteers at the garden are now giving out 50 meals a day to students.

Pastor Hutchison said, “They are getting a hot lunch like they would at school and then they are getting some breakfast item to take home as well as a snack and a supper option.”

They’re also handing out free books and art packets.

Hutchison said, “We had an art teacher from Pinehurst who brought 45 activity packs art supplies that she had at home that she thought to put in the hands of these kids and give them an opportunity to create art.”

Many of the volunteers handing out the items are actually the kids teachers.

“We’re getting the feedback that in this time of uncertainty, that gives a little bit of a sense of normalcy,” Pastor Hutchison said.

For parents, that sense of normalcy means the world in such an uncertain time.

Michelle Bailey, a parent said, “Being able to come here and get a nice hot lunch every day and then a meal for dinner and breakfast and then some snacks for the weekend, it’s great. It’s wonderful to see people doing this because everybody is running scared.”

One day at a time, one planting at a time, Pastor Hutchison and his volunteers will be out in the communit yworking hard to nip hunger in the bud.

Because Governor Hogan ordered the closure of all playgrounds, volunteers are now handing out meals at the Newton Street Community Center (across from the Camden Community Garden) Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

They’re also going to start giving out meals during those same times at Stone Grove Crossing on Booth Street on Wednesday.

Categories: Brightside, Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland