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  • Last modified 30 days ago (Nov. 15, 2018)

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Food comes, goes quickly

Community garden produced 5,065 pounds of vegetables

News editor

Food comes in and just as quickly goes right back out.

Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank supports county residents in a struggle to provide healthy foods to them and their families.

A common misconception about people who utilize food banks is they are jobless, homeless, and feel they are entitled to get everything free.

Peabody resident Bobbie Vanhorn contradicts those stereotypes.

She’s retired and lives on her modest income; her job is to provide a stable and healthy shelter for her son and two grandsons, and she feels no entitlement.

“We’re able to come twice a month for food but if I don’t need something, I don’t go,” she said. “I don’t take stuff that we won’t eat either.”

Vanhorn had a 22-year career as an inspector of regular and military aircraft with Beech Aircraft and was a school bus driver for 14 years.

Fresh vegetables from the community garden brought 5,025 pounds of produce to the food bank this summer.

“The vegetables were fantastic,” Vanhorn said. “I can’t get down to garden so it really helps me have fresh vegetables for my grandsons.”

Vanhorn said if the food bank weren’t available, her family would have less food and her medication intake would be in jeopardy, as she’d spend money on food before paying for medicine.

Another participant, referred to as a “neighbor,” said she appreciates the bank because it has such a variety of items.

Cathy Henderson, food bank director, said the garden produce was a blessing.

“Neighbors gave good feedback on the produce,” she said. “It had a good flavor, cooked well, and had a nice consistency.”

Marion FFA members harvested 600 pounds of sweet potatoes. Henderson wasn’t sure how well they would be received. She expected them to hold over into the winter months.

“I was surprised that they were all given out in October,” she said.

Marion County Extension nutrition educator Myrta Billings attends distribution days twice a month. She brings recipes for featured items, discusses their nutritional values, and provides a sample of one of the recipes.

At the Nov. 5 pick-up day, Billings gave neighbors a small cup of baked sweet potato chips. She said the majority of people would at least try them and most finished with comments like. “I don’t like sweet potatoes, but these are really good.”

Last modified Nov. 15, 2018

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