Elba Community Food Bank competes for $15K grant to expand services

Elba Community Food Bank competes for $15K grant to expand services

ELBA, AL (WSFA) - Since 2011, organizers say the Elba Community Food Bank has fed more than 18,000 people and they're not stopping there.

Members of the Church of Christ and the Restoration 154 non-profit organization have plans to harvest more fresh fruits and vegetables from their Giving Garden. All of the produce will go to the food bank.

This year alone, Pastor Philip Box says they've helped over 2,000 people.

To fulfill their goal, they've entered in a Nature's Path contest to win $15,000 and they need your vote.

"Until the giving garden was planted and we started growing stuff and actually producing stuff, we were also able to do can food goods and frozen stuff which is definitely important, but this sort of adds a new element to things," said Box.

Organizers are planning to use this grant funding to expand their community garden. They want to add another tunnel house, more crops, and a fruit orchard.

"We have a mild climate here so we can grow a lot more fruit than people north of us can, and even satsumas are a good product because they grow here, but not oranges, apples, pears or figs," said Nell Gilmer, a master gardener at Giving Garden.

At the current tunnel house, they have no place for additional crops and Gilmer says it's a vital resource.

"You can grow vegetables in the tunnel house all winter long because the sides come down, and it gets a little hot in there in the summer time, but the winter time it's great for growing things you couldn't grow outside," said Gilmer.

"Vote every day, we only have between now and July 6 before the contest ends. At the end of that time we want to be in the top 6," said Box.

Log on to GivingGardenElba.com to cast your vote.

The food bank is operated by volunteers and they're always in need of donations. Contact the church at 897-2057 if you would like to contribute.

Copyright 2015 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.