Community Garden; Community Impact

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Church Works to Feed the Hungry

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN(ANS) A Michigan church recently planted a community garden with hopes of providing more than 15,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to area food pantries and soup kitchens this summer and fall.

According to a news release, NorthRidge Church expects more than 300 volunteers to work in the 21,000 square foot garden with the project being overseen by a pair of master gardeners and engineers.

Speaking in a news release, NorthRidge Senior Pastor Brad Powell said the community garden is a part of the church's overall effort to help people at their point of need and touch their lives in a tangible way.

Powell added, “Jesus had compassion for the poor and the hungry, and He wants His church to do the same. Our response to His generosity is to reach out to help those that are disadvantaged and unable to help themselves.”

The community garden is in its fourth year. The garden's yield has grown steadily from more than 3,000 pounds of produce in its first year to just under 12,000 pounds in 2010.

“It's a high bar, but we think we can beat last year's yield,” Powell said in the release. He added, “One of the strengths of the community garden is the participation of entire families. It's a project that everyone can help with.”

According to the news release, the community garden is only one of the church's efforts to help give back and minister to the community and those in need.

Over the weekends of May 14 and 21, NorthRidge held its annual food drive and collected 28,000 pounds canned and other goods. Approximately 200 volunteers helped collect the food and pack it more than 700 boxes. The food was donated to five area charities.

In addition, the news release said, in February, NorthRidge Church worked with Feed My Starving Children to pack more than one million meals to benefit kids in Haiti, Guatemala and Somalia. About 5,000 volunteers helped pack the meals, and people gave more than was needed to cover the cost of the million meals.

Event surplus was used to help a small church in Laredo, Texas pack over 200,000 meals that will be used to serve the poor in Mexico. All of this is evidence of the growing generosity of NorthRidge's attenders, Powell said.

“We are a church that cares,” Powell added. “While I am proud of our NorthRidge family, our mission isn't to glorify ourselves, it's to glorify Christ. We most visibly evidence that love by showing compassion and care for those in need.”

NorthRidge Church is a non-denominational ministry that serves approximately 20,000 southeastern Michigan residents.

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Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “Homeless in the City.”

Additional details on “Homeless in the City” are available at Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds

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