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Orange Baptist Church joins Healthy Community Action Team with community garden

Orange Baptist Church joins Healthy Community Action Team with community garden

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The Orange Healthy Community Action Team (Orange HCAT) recently welcomed a new partner organization. Orange Baptist Church (OBC) joined the efforts of the Orange HCAT in August 2021. Since joining, this valued partner has established and dedicated a community harvest garden in which all produce will be donated to those in need.

The Mustard Seed Garden at Orange Baptist Church is a 50-foot by 100-foot space that will grow seasonal produce and will be maintained by a strong and committed volunteer base. The vision for The Mustard Seed Garden at OBC grew from the church’s desire to serve the community. When OBC joined as a member of the Orange HCAT, a partnership was formed that has led to the fruition of the vision for the community harvest space.

The Orange HCAT seeks to break barriers to healthy childhoods. Providing fresh produce options to families is just one of the many ways the Orange HCAT hopes to promote healthy lifestyles in the homes of Orange County children. Alongside other HCAT Partners including the Orange County Office on Youth, the 4H Extension Office, Orange County Parks and Recreation, UVA Pediatrics at Orange, Darnell’s Garden Patch, the Love Outreach Food Pantry, and community member Robin Monaco, Orange Baptist Church will assist in the community effort to break barriers to healthy childhoods.

In the first two weeks of harvest, The Mustard Seed Garden at OBC donated more than 150 pounds of produce to the Love Outreach Food Pantry. The garden was dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Orange Baptist Church Property with OBC staff and volunteers.

The Orange HCAT looks forward to the profound impact The Mustard Seed Garden at OBC will have on the local community for years to come.

“A mustard seed inspires great things from small beginnings, and the HCAT is confident the impact of the garden will also. The sense of community witnessed in making the garden effort possible has been remarkable from volunteer fence installers to hands-in-the-dirt produce harvesters. It has been incredibly encouraging to work with all of our partners on HCAT efforts and The Mustard Seed Garden at OBC has certainly set the bar high,” Orange HCAT Program Coordinator Ashley Jacobs said.

Funding from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth supports the work of the Orange HCAT, but other leveraged funds from sources such as the Bama Works Fund of the Dave Matthews Band, as well as numerous local donations, have made the garden efforts possible.

For more information, contact Jacobs, HCAT Coordinator, at (540) 672-5484 ext. 1 or at ajacobs@orangecountyva.gov. Follow the program on social media on Facebook at @OrangeHCAT or Instagram at @OrangeHCAT.

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