Neighborhood Garden Provides Fresh Vegetables For People And Funds For Backpack Meal Program

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A Tupelo man is growing food for a weekend backpack ministry in his garden.

Jerry Thompson loves to garden and to help others. That drive has led to a fruitful outreach to put fresh vegetables on people’s plates and helps feed hungry kids at the neighborhood school.

While at church, a few years ago, Thompson learned about a Joyner Elementary food backpack program.

He also happened to have a harvest of vegetables and an idea.

Thompson built a vegetable cart to put produce in and an honor box for donations.

The money goes to the school’s backpack meal program.

Kids then take the food home on the weekend, so they won’t go without.

“People are not here to buy groceries from me, they are here to make a donation to the program, to feed these hungry children, and I say take some vegetables home as my thank you for contributing, that’s the basic way it works,” Thompson said.

Thompson is recently retired and also helps at the school’s “Discovery Garden.” Vegetables from that garden, which students help grow, are used in school lunches.

“We really appreciate having somebody in the community who cares so much about our kids here that he would donate not only his time, but money it takes to grow these crops and vegetables, so our kids can have that extra money to go towards food for the weekend, a lot of kids we get don’t have those things at home, said Brenna Politte, a kindergaten teacher at Joyner Elementary.

Thompson hopes his outreach encourages others.

“Book of James says be doers of the Word, not just listeners, don’t just hear it, put it to use in your own life, help those around you,” he said.

Thompson thought about giving his green thumb a rest this year but knew there would be a great need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thompson has raised about 500 dollars so far this year for the backpack meal program. To see when he will have his market open, check out his Facebook page.

Categories: Local News

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