It’s a program that promotes both volunteerism and healthy eating at the same time: The Unity Gardens project began in the South Bend area in 2008.
Unity Gardens began in 2008 with a single garden. Today there are a total of 48.
Unity Gardens are located in neighborhoods and at schools and churches—anyplace that volunteers are willing to come together to grow and harvest healthy food.
While the Unity Gardens project has succeeded in eating up a lot more space, what it really wants more of, is “time.”
“We grow food in a big way, with 48 Unity Gardens but in order to grow food all year round it’s time for us to get a greenhouse, and so that way we could keep the people engaged in community gardens that are already engaged for the season,” said Unity Gardens Executive Director Sara Stewart.
Plans call for a modest greenhouse to be built at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden on South Bend’s west side.
There are some signs that the timing may be favorable.
“Our funding comes from donations but right now we have a unique opportunity because we’re in a contest at Facebook, a Chase Bank contest,” said Stewart.
The Chase Bank Community Giving Facebook page will provide $5 million in grants to community organizations across the country, but only those that get the highest number of online votes.
“The top prize is $250,000 which would certainly create jobs and a self-sustaining way to grow food,” said Stewart. “Even the last place which is $10,000 gives us enough to get the structures up and start growing.”
The voting started on September 6th and continues through the 19th.
This is the link to cast a vote for the Unity Gardens:
Hannah’s House is also competing for Chase Community Giving funds.