Community gardens help make fresh food options possible at Helena Food Share

HELENA – This year, Helena’s community gardens donated 4,228 pounds of fresh food to The Helena Food Share from their summer harvest.

Each community garden has a plot dedicated to Food Share.

“It’s also important for the gardeners who do the donating, there’s a little…not competition, but a little pride of how much each garden contributes so people feel really good about producing food for other people,” said Pat Christian, Board of Helena Community Gardens.

Christian is also a volunteer at Helena Food Share.

Christian said the community gardens are important because fresh produce is grown in the summer, and that harvest goes into the fall.

“We’re dry, we’re rocky, the growing season isn’t long and yet there are people growing lots of great food,” said Christian.

That means those fresh fruits and veggies can be scarce during winter months for Food Share’s pantry. Donations from local grocery stores can help fill that fresh food need during the winter and Spring.

Food Share is always accepting donations of food, but mostly looking to keep their produce cooler full. Those foods include lettuce, tomatoes, melons, carrots, any type of fresh whole foods.

“We’ve really had customers in the last two years say Helena Food Share is where they can get their produce now,” said Kara Snyder, program manager for Helena Food Share.

Helena Food Share says they want the people they help to have a variety of fresh foods to pick from, not just canned goods.

“And in general that’s what Helena Food Share is all about, sharing knowledge, sharing good, resources, and that’s not anything from the top down, it’s just a community that we’ve built here and people share with each other,” said Snyder.

You can donate whole food to Helena Food Share at their storefront located at 1616 Lewis Street. For more information on the nonprofit click here.

For more information on the Helena Community Gardens click here.