Seeds of generosity planted in food bank garden in Lee County - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Seeds of generosity planted in food bank garden in Lee County

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -

The real value of a vegetable garden near Auburn University came into sharp focus recently for Zack Ogles, a moment when he learned just how many needy families in east Alabama had been given food.

"It opened my eyes to the actual way things are unfortunately for some people," said Ogles.

Plucked clean of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and green beans, the ripe ones went to the East Alabama Food Bank, a crucial delivery for Renee Maurer who runs the food bank.

"Alabama is 6th in food insecurity in the nation," said Maurer.

The food bank garden was the brainchild of Dr. Beth Guertal who was out of the country for this story. Guertal is with the university's Soil and Environmental Sciences Department. We're told Dr. Guertal wanted to help the less fortunate.

Ogles was more than happy to oblige. It is his job to make sure the garden stays fresh, vibrant and growing. It's been a labor of love, no doubt, and an assignment that ended up making a difference in his life.

"This is about helping the community. I'm sure this has been appreciated by the people that have received the food,' said Ogles who is an Auburn University Graduate Research Assistant.

Ogles says they'll begin planting the fall crops soon such as broccoli and cauliflower.

The recent harvest collected well over a thousand pounds of vegetables for the needy, many of whom literally don't know where their next meal is coming from. In fact, according to Maurer, there's been a marked increase in the number of needy families since the Great Recession 6 years ago.

"I never thought there was a need especially in an affluent area like Auburn,' said Maurer.

It turns out Dr. Guertal did more than just plant a garden. She unknowingly planted the seeds of generosity.. now bearing fruit in east Alabama.

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