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The Magic City’s St. Andrew’s Community Garden helps in reducing food insecurity



Billings, Montana – The St. Andrew’s Community Garden has grown fresh fruits and vegetables for 21 years, most of which are donated to community organizations that help the needy.

The Yellowstone County 2023 Health Needs Assessment found that approximately 31,000 residents lack food availability.

It also reveals 27% of county adults find it difficult to access fruits and vegetables.

This is where David Kimball and his community gardeners come in.

They transplanted 600 greenhouse plants to the half-acre of land full of nutritious, natural nourishment in late March.

The half-acre is their Mission Garden, according to David Kimball.

“The produce from the Mission Garden, something like 60% or so to Family Service, maybe 30% goes to the Montana Rescue Mission, and then we go down to theThursdayGardeners’Market in South Park. We take it there because it’s a food desert and it makes it available to the people who are in need.”

Carla Stadtmiller, community garden manager and master gardener, said they had contributed at least 4,000 pounds of food to the needy for five years.

Stadtmiller said fresh produce is essential to existence.

“We believe it should be a basic human right, especially in the United States to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, we go to the gardener’s market to sell some things, but that is a food desert area, but mostly we give it away.” Said Carla.

Stadtmiller said fresh produce is expensive, so they supply as much as possible.

St. Andrew’s Community Garden delivers to Montana Rescue Kitchen every Thursday, where Chef Jess and her team cook a delicious lunch for Rescue Mission residents.

Chef Jess said acquiring the ingredients lets her cook nutritious dishes from scratch and fit individual culinary preferences.

“Our menus are very diverse…It’s so spread out. So many people are used to opening a can, a jar, or something quick. We have it all, you just have to open the frig and actually put some love and effort into it. Broccoli soup doesn’t come from a container we have it right here from the garden.”

Chef Jess is grateful to give healthy meals to people who cannot.

The Mission Garden is one of many community gardens in Billings that aim to improve food security.

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