In the U.S., 1 in 6 people struggles with hunger. Food pantries across the country pass out food to help these people put meals on the table. But what if they could help teach the pantry visitors how to grow their own food, too?
Grow Well Missouri, a program that travels to food pantries around central Missouri, is one of several food-aid groups trying to do just that, passing out seeds and starter plants to low-income locals.
On a recent wet spring morning, the group set up in Columbia, Mo. Four volunteers for Grow Well Missouri worked under a blue popup tent outside of Central Pantry, repotting about 50 starter tomato plants into larger containers. They had a steady stream of visitors stopping by, curious about what's going on.
Volunteer Marie Paisley packaged a tomato plant, a trowel and literature on how to successfully grow the plant all into a tote bag. Then she passed it to food pantry customers with some helpful tips on how to care for the plant.
"When you get it home, you need to water it through thoroughly, 'til the water runs out the bottom of the container," she says.
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