Brown County Community Gardens program increases food security for lower income households

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A Brown County program aimed at helping provide garden space for those without land is marking its 25th anniversary. And today that program grew just a little bit bigger, thanks to generous volunteers.

On a plot of land near downtown Green Bay volunteers are hard at work, assembling tabletop garden beds to grown fruits and vegetables.

“We have close to 400 plots and they do fill up every year,” said Program Coordinator Margaret Franchino.

This parcel of land is among five acres overall spread out across Brown County. Available to rent for those with a green thumb through Brown County’s Community Garden Program.

“It’s very important that everyone has access to fresh healthy produce and so these gardens give people the opportunity to do that no matter where they live and make sure everyone has access to gardening space,” Franchino said.

Franchino coordinates the program, aimed at increasing food security among lower income households.

“About 70 percent of our gardeners are of low to moderate incomes,” said Franchino.

“This garden specifically located in this location is serving a population that needs this opportunity,” said Joy Wick from Green Bay West Rotary.

These raised garden plots open up to their renters tomorrow. Now 33 in all, thanks to the rotary.
The club purchased 10 tabletop beds and assembled them to make gardening more accessible to all.

“It helps some of the individuals that have a harder time bending down lower, so they can get up to the garden bed and reach the vegetables,” said Rotary President Mark Swiecichowski.

Vegetables they’ll harvest each year – grown here in a community garden.

“We’ll probably have by the end, close to 250 families participating. People get a large amount of produce out of this. They can really feed their family. Its been really a positive asset in this challenging year,” said Franchino.

Garden plots go for between $10 to $45 to rent for the season. You can find more information here.

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