By Jason Von Kundra from Sprouting Hope in Marion, VA

One of the most common questions we hear is, “where does all the produce go?” Here is our food distribution plan.

Sprouting Hope Community Garden provides fresh produce in a fair way that ensures that people volunteering in the garden and people who are unable to garden themselves have fair access to healthy food.

The garden is divided into two sections: program group space and community space. The program group sections are managed by the program coordinator and the participating program groups. All food grown in these sections is distributed directly to the program participants after harvest. Program groups are encouraged to develop a fair system for diverse dietary interests and for irregular participation in the program. Program groups should be given the opportunity to donate some of their produce to the community through the avenues mentioned below. Program participants may also volunteer and receive produce from the community section.


The produce from the community garden space will be distributed in two ways:

  • Garden Volunteers: All volunteers in the garden may take a fair portion of the harvest each time they volunteer, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Sprouting Hope seeks to involve and serve low income communities and outreach efforts should be made to ensure this. All volunteers are encouraged to take food for family and friends. Volunteers who help in the beginning of the season but are unable to volunteer during the prime harvest period may have access to a fair share.
  • People in Need: At no cost, people in need of fresh, healthy produce may share the harvest through the following channels. Sprouting Hope may bring produce to different places each week and quantity will vary seasonally.
    • FUMC Food Pantry, 115 S Church Street, 11:30am, 3rd Thursday of the month
    • The Senior Citizen’s Center, 307 S Park St, 11:30am, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday
    • Food & Fellowship 115 S Church Street 11:30am, every Thursday
    • Impact International Food Pantry 704 S Main St, 4pm, 4th Saturday of the month
    • Smyth County Free Clinic 1583 N Main St, along with nutrition education
    • Church Leaders may distribute produce to members of their congregation in need
    • Occasional Events such as the Marion Farmers’ Market and nutrition education programs