Garden program accepts applicationsPublished 6:00am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Franklin County residents can now apply for a self-service program that will help them provide fresh food for their families.
The Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama is now accepting applications for the Gerald Williams Cooperative Garden Program, which allows qualified residents to receive free seeds, plants and fertilizer to start a self-service garden of their own.
Tammy McDaniel, executive director of Community Action of Northwest Alabama, said the program has been in existence since 1975 and has helped countless numbers of people put food on their tables and revenue in their pockets.
“This program was started as a self-help program that gives people the means to start their own garden but they must provide the labor it takes to make the garden successful,” McDaniel said.
“We’ve found that when people are able to provide food for their own table, it lets them see they can make a difference in their household and it makes them feel good to know they have contributed.
“There’s something very satisfying about knowing the food on your table was something you worked for.”
McDaniel said in years past, the agency has seen more elderly qualified residents apply for the program, but that trend is starting to change.
“The older generations were used to farming so the highest amount of participants generally came from that age group, but recently we have had more young people who are interested in the program,” she said.
“We’re glad to see the willingness of the younger generation to work for what they have.
“Learning these types of gardening skills can be very rewarding and can help them in the future.”
To be able to qualify for the Gerald Williams Community Garden Program, residents must have a place to grow a garden and be physically able to work it.
Participants must also meet gross monthly income requirements of under $1,396 per month for a single household; under $1,891 per month for a two-person household; under $2,386 per month for a three-person household. For each additional person in the household, add $495.
Franklin County residents who are interested in applying can call the local Community Action office at 256-332-7534 anytime between 1-4 p.m. Monday – Friday.
The deadline to apply for the program is March 15.