Emporia church, soup kitchen create ‘Giving Grove’

Community

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – Volunteers at a local soup kitchen are showing their green thumb by finding a new way to help feed the community.

Abundant Harvest in Emporia is the only soup kitchen in the region within 45 miles. They partnered with Grace United Methodist Church last summer to create the Giving Grove.

It’s an orchard on the property that provides produce for the community.

Volunteers planted the trees in late October and once the fruit is ready, people can come up and pick the fruit off the trees.

Executive Director Lee Alderman said you don’t have to show your ID or a proof of income, you can just show up.

“Anybody can pick from the trees. If they want fresh fruit for their families or for themselves, we encourage folks to come on the property,” he said. “We’re a community soup kitchen. We’re here to help people and we figure if they want fruit, they can come and get fruit.”

Abundant Harvest expects the trees to be ready in about two and a half years.

In the meantime, they’re wanting to renovate the soup kitchen and provide upgrades that would better serve the community.

Alderman said Abundant Harvest is aiming to raise at least $575,000 to provide enough money to upgrade things like flooring, lighting, expanding the dining room and leveling/paving the driveway.

People can donate to the Emporia Community Foundation and click the donate button, then select Abundant Harvest under the Healthcare & Human needs category.

Abundant Harvest hopes to have fundraising wrapped up by early summer.

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