The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 24, 2014

Faith Farm garden ready for planting

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — As the weather begins to warm, it is time for another season of planting at Faith Farm, 820 W. Cherokee.

This year, however, those reaping the harvest will be different. Loaves & Fishes of NW Oklahoma has leased Faith Farm from Hope Outreach.

“We are excited to have a facility as nice as Faith Farm to grow garden-fresh produce for our clients,” said Carrie Sanders, director of Loaves & Fishes of NW Oklahoma. “Our mission is to fight hunger and feed hope through healthy food choices. This space will enable us to do just that. Pound for pound, produce is the most expensive food item you can purchase. Having fresh produce on our shelves allows people of all income levels the same access to healthy food.”

Last spring, 10 raised garden beds were built by Eagle Scout Makay Tobler at Loaves & Fishes, 701 E. Maine. Those beds produced 462 pounds of produce in 2013.

“The garden at Faith Farm more than triples our current production area, so the goal is to triple our harvest,” said Charity Beckner, garden manager of Loaves & Fishes.

To begin the growing season, volunteers helped plant more than 300 seeds.

Loaves & Fishes, the state’s first rural food resource center, opened in October 2012 as a partner agency of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The pantry is run by more than 80 regular volunteers and two paid staff people. Last year, Loaves & Fishes served more than 8,300 households with more than 400,000 pounds of food.

Food is donated from local busineses such as Walmart and United, from groups such as Vance, churches, schools and the Horn of Plenty, and from individuals, Sanders said.

Loaves & Fishes is open every Monday through Thursday. Anyone who would like more information on volunteering or the qualifications to become a client, go to the website at www.loavesandfishes or call (580) 540-9830.