Volunteers at community garden in St. Jacobs help feed those in need

A group of volunteers are growing fruits and vegetables at a community garden in St. Jacobs to make sure no one goes hungry during the pandemic.

Donna Robertson is just one of the volunteers who have been feeding the community since 2016. Robertson says demand has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic.

“We’ve certainly seen the need go up in our community,” Robertson said. “There are far more people, I think who are the working people, who just need a hand.”

Volunteers say they’ve collected hundreds of pounds of produce every week, thanks to the land and supplies that were donated by Home Hardware.

Julia Swijters serves as the community garden coordinator. She says the group is working with the Woolwich Community Services Food Bank in Elmira and the Meals on Wheels program, which is run by the Community Support Connections Group in Breslau, to take the food from ground to table.

“They actually cook the food right away, and it goes out and is served to community members who are on subsidized food programs or just need healthier options,” Swijters said. “Knowing that I’m giving back and that I’m not always ‘take, take, take’ from the world, it makes me emotional talking about it. And all the people that I get to work with. For me, it’s necessary.”

The final harvest of the season will wrap up this week before the garden is mulched and prepped for winter.