Non-profit opens community garden to help feed low income people

Zakariyah Hill of The Supply Hive said a community garden is meant to teach people how to eat healthier and help reduce their food instability.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A local nonprofit, The Supply Hive, is looking to make healthy food accessible to more low-income people in the Des Moines metro. 

Their goal of making this a reality is by growing the food in a community garden. 

Though the ground may be covered by snow right now, that is not stopping co-founder Zakariyah Hill from planning what produce to grow in the community garden attached to the Edna Griffin Park. 

“We plan to grow some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and spinach,” Hill said.

The Supply Hive is a group that grew out of handing out food during the Des Moines BLM protests and went on to help children and mothers in need in Des Moines. 

Feeding people healthy food was an obvious progression in their journey.

“We wanted to further our mission and a community garden was just natural,” Hill said.

Hill said the garden is meant to teach people around the park how to eat healthier, help reduce their food instability and potentially cut down on some health-related illnesses.

The nonprofit started a trial run on feeding the community healthier foods this fall. 

Hill said the group was able to harvest some vegetables from the trial run but come this spring, she said they plan to grow. 

“A big expansion of some more raised beds,” Hill said. “More produce. Some classes and teaching materials to go along with it so we can get the whole community involved.” 

Guiding the group is Monika Owczarski, the owner of Sweet Tooth Farm and creator of a community fridge on 8th Street in Des Moines.

Owczarski said she wanted to help The Supply Hive because their philosophy aligned with hers. 

“You don’t have to be a certain kind of person to deserve food. Everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, how you live, you deserve healthy food,” Owczarski said. “Healthy food shouldn’t be a luxury item.” 

Hill noted the group already has their seeds to plant for this coming spring and are looking into bringing a beehive to the garden.

RELATED: Des Moines BLM, the Supply Hive give free school supplies to families in need

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