Grow it Forward: Thanksgiving
Grow it Forward: Thanksgiving began in 2021 when the Conservancy saw a need to provide additional fresh local produce along with floral bouquets from our gardens to those in need during the holiday. In 2021, we donated 25 bags of fresh produce to The Pink House Neighborhood Resource Center. The program has grown annually, and in 2023, we increased the amount of food donated and neighborhoods served by providing 110 bags to The Pink House in West Ashley and Laundry Matters on the Eastside.
Each bag included an assortment of seasonal produce (sweet and white potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, onions/scallions, fresh herbs, head lettuce and collard greens) grown in our three community gardens along with donations from Growfood Carolina, flower bouquets from our cut flower garden and donated from Trader Joe’s, plus canned and dry goods donated by Morrison Yard and Trinity Montessori.
The Conservancy’s Community Gardens Grow it Forward Program is integral to our work to create stronger neighborhoods, promote healthy living and provide fresh produce to local food pantries. Through this program, community members have access and resources to grow their own food in a public park, learn about urban horticulture, and donate fresh produce to those battling food insecurity in our community. The Community Gardens benefits over 2,000 residents in need each year. Produce is donated weekly throughout the year to organizations addressing food insecurity in our City. In 2023, we donated over 4,000 pounds of produce resulting in over 3,300 meals. By choosing partner organizations that are embedded within and actively serving the communities we have identified as greatest need, we can meet these neighbors where they are to distribute our produce most effectively.