by The Sustainability Steward
On October 18th, I attended the Feeding the Need: Making It Visible Luncheon sponsored by the Seven Loaves Community of St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano. Because the Seven Loaves Community food pantry is a recipient of the produce from the Plano Community Garden, I wanted to attend to learn more about the plight of the homeless and hungry in Collin County.
The guest speaker was Texas Senator Florence Shapiro from District 8, the district that includes PCG, and she gave a very powerful speech about the growth of the homeless in our community. What makes this even more alarming is that the zip code of St. Andrew and the Plano Community Garden, 75093, is the third wealthiest zip code in the eastern half of the DFW Metroplex.
Senator Shapiro shared with us how the homeless population has increased over 200% in the past three years in Collin County, and that an unbelieveable 14% of the citizens now in our county are food insecure. In fact, 60% of the homeless interviewed are employed, though under-employed, and the availability of food has become the largest need now among those in poverty in our area. She ended her speech by sharing with us the Eight Levels of Charity as described by the great philosopher, Maimonides. Maimonides taught that by sharing one’s talents and gifts with others in order to strengthen them so they no longer are a burden on others, one is exhibiting the greatest level of charity. Senator Shapiro then applauded the Plano community for its charity and, more importantly, by “teaching others to fish”, providing a means to those around us to help pull themselves out of poverty and hunger.
The Plano Community Garden is one way to help alleviate hunger in our area. By adopting and agreeing to care for a plot in the PCG, one agrees to maintain a garden plot year round and provide half of one’s grown produce to the area food pantries in Plano, including the Seven Loaves pantry operated by St. Andrew United Methodist. All water, mulch and compost in the PCG is provided at no charge to the gardener by the city of Plano, and, more importantly, one receives the satisfaction of helping to alleviate hunger in the area. If interested in learning more about the garden and the opportunities that it offers, please log on to the URL below and find out more:
The Sustainability Steward