When it comes to fighting hunger, churches in Bellmore are taking a hands-on approach, and congregants don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
In 2011 – at the urging of members Susan Salem and Annie McPartlin – St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in North Bellmore turned its surrounding property into a vegetable garden to grow fresh organic vegetables for the Long Island Council of Churches food pantry in Freeport. Since then, the church has harvested thousands of pounds of produce to feed hungry neighbors and started the St. Mark’s Community Farm Stand, which operates Sundays from June to October.
Now kicking off their third season of growing and giving, St. Mark’s gardeners recently joined together with members of the Crossing Boundaries youth program from Bellmore Methodist Church, preparing and planting the garden. The team up was part of Crossing Boundaries’ annual “Change the World Weekend” and the second year the two churches have pitched in together to farm for those less fortunate.
How does cultivating the soil help to change the world? Crossing Boundaries leader Malcolm Hall says food and water are essential to the health of the community.
“To change the world we need everybody involved and to sustain the world, we need food,” says Hall. “If everyone helps a little in a garden, imagine what can happen?”
The Garden at St. Mark’s
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
1692 Bellmore Avenue
Bellmore United Methodist Church
2657 Clarendon Avenue
T.W. Barritt blogs at culinarytypes.blogspot.com.