With a purpose for donating fresh produce to those in need, the Coppell Community Garden has been engaging in organic gardening for years.
At the end of each year, many fruits and vegetables are donated to Metrocrest Services, a nonprofit that helps families who need assistance in food, paying bills, finding housing, employment and more.
In 2019, the garden broke a record and donated approximately 20,328 pounds of produce to Metrocrest Services, the largest donation in the garden’s 21-year history.
According to community garden representatives, the Ground Delivery Garden, which sits next to the Coppell Post Office, contributed 9,171 pounds. The Old Town Garden set its own record by contributing 5,691 pounds. The Helping Hands garden, located in the Coppell Town Center contributed 5,467 pounds, exceeding its previous contribution by more than 10 percent.
Chris Hansen, vice president of the Coppell Sustainable Food Organization, said another factor to the large donation is due to a greenhouse that was installed next to the Old Town Garden.
“It allows us to not to have to start every single vegetable from seed,” he said.
Hansen said with the greenhouse volunteers can use start their gardens from transplants that are about 6-7 weeks old.
To be able to donate a large number of produce is a big accomplishment for the garden and its volunteers, but it’s more about the families instead of the produce, Hansen said.
“It (to donate) felt amazing," Hansen said. “It felt great to be able to help so many families who have needs at Metrocrest Services. It’s also amazing to go to Metrocrest and see the people you are helping.”
Those at Metrocrest are thankful for the donations as well. The organization took to Facebook to share what the garden had done for them and to thank them for their support.
The garden will continue to use their newly installed greenhouse to help grow produce. Hansen said the volunteers will be working on learning what works best with using the transplanted fruits and vegetables.