HELENA - The Jubilee Garden at Saint Mary Catholic Community has hundreds of pounds of food it’s donating to Helena Food Share as summer winds down and produce is ready.
“This time of year is just really important for us and getting that food in because there's, this is when there's so much wonderful fruits and vegetables, you know, fruits earlier on a lot of times. Right now, we've got a lot of apples coming in. But also right now, we have lots of squash, lots of corn, and tomatoes,” said Helena Food Share Communications Director Patty White.
Helena Food Share works to provide food to the public for free — including canned and boxed goods, but also organic and healthy leafy greens and fruits.
Around this time of year, Helena Food Share gains hundreds of pounds of produce. For example, on Monday the food share gained over 500 pounds of produce donated from Jubilee Garden.
Nina Heinzinger, Food Share Manager of Jubilee Garden, believes that nutritious produce is vital to the health of a community. “It's very important for everyone to have access to healthy food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables."
Jubilee Garden is part of a larger conglomerate of gardens known as Helena Community Gardens. Many of these gardens give to Helena Food Share. While Helena Food Share does buy produce from grocery stores, thousands of pounds come from local gardens.
For example, the total amount donated by the local community since May 1st of this year is nearly 18,000 pounds. And Heinzinger is partial to believe that that produce is superior to grocery store produce.
“We like to think that our produce is a little bit better because it comes straight out of the ground and straight over here. So, they really get something that's really fresh and organically grown that may not be affordable to them or available to them otherwise,” says Heinzinger.