Branson garden provides fresh food for local families

Branson, Mo. -- The goal of the Salvation Army’s community garden in Branson is to provide fresh food to local families.

Volunteers have already been picking vegetables like broccoli, onions, and sugar snap peas.

"The more you pick, the more they produce," Volunteer Gardener Jim Lawson said.

Lawson works in the garden almost every day. He says the work is well worth it.

"If you don't have a lot of money, you have to buy kind of in bulk. So, what you go for a lot of times are the processed foods," Lawson said.

However, because of the garden, people who visit the Salvation Army Food Pantry can also get fresh produce free for their families.
"It's very expensive to eat healthy," Camille Adkins said.

However, it's not only finances that prevent people from getting fruits and vegetables.

"We have a lot of people in this community who use convenience stores for their grocery stores because they're close to where they live," Branson​ Salvation Army Capt. Linda McCormick said.

In addition to access to these foods, Nutrition Educator Barbara Beck also gives tips on how to use them.

"I can be as easy as washing the veggie and trying it with a Greek yogurt dip of some type, something rather healthy instead of just one of the salad dressings," Beck said.

They say it's all part of eating a balanced diet, making healthy meals out of fresh produce along with other foods provided by the pantry.

"We have a lot of canned stuff in our pantry, processed food. So, whenever we can give them something fresh like meat and vegetables, we try to do the best we can with that," Capt. McCormick said.

It's something that local families say makes a big difference.

"It's a big help, it really it. It just kind of supplements in between paydays," Adkins said.

The Salvation Army food pantry is open each Wednesday morning, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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