Fresh Produce from Community Garden at Taylorville Memorial Hospital Helps Meet Growing Need

Community, gardening, outdoors, summer

A fresh veggie a day may keep the doctor away!

Volunteers at Taylorville Memorial Hospital have planted and harvested more than 100 pounds of fresh produce this summer, which they donated to the Taylorville Food Pantry. When the harvest becomes more consistent, organizers plan to also donate to the SIU Center for Family Medicine in Taylorville.

“The idea resulted from discussions with the Taylorville Food Pantry and the Taylorville Community Garden after the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment, which identified obesity as a top priority,” said Darin Buttz, director of Community Health at Taylorville Memorial Hospital (TMH). “We determined there was an opportunity to offer fresh vegetables for our community members in need.”

The TMH garden volunteers grow and donate several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, squash, green beans and herbs. The Community Garden also benefits TMH employees, who may choose to spend their work break or lunch outside in the sunshine, weeding or helping to harvest vegetables.

“Our volunteers harvest vegetables once or twice a week when the garden is ready,” Buttz said. “It has been a popular activity and a great way to give back to those in our community who are in need.”

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