Out on the West End of Huntington there is a church named St. Peters. St. Peters is an Episcopalian church and like most churches of this denomination it has a long-standing tradition of outreach, community feeds, tent drives and in one case cold weather sheltering during the cold snap we experienced last winter. In its basement you will find a community kitchen and a large gathering place with closets containing cots and tables that have been used during warm church functions and times of community strife.

My experience with St. Peters began with an organization named On The Streets Committee, On The Streets Committee (or OTSC for short) is a community advocacy program attempting to both advocate for and meet the needs of the unsheltered population that resides in both Huntington and the greater Tri-State area. We gather information and statistics, run public feeds, distribute material aid, build shelters and take part in both political and direct action. We do it all, or at least try to.

So when we began working with St. Peters, naturally things started coming together quickly and fruitfully. We started using our combined resources and efforts to tackle issues that had been out of reach for us for some time. The church house became our regular meeting space and nexus of our outreach program- in addition to my primary source of tasty snacks.

Among the achievements we have reached together is the Lot of Love Community Garden. The Garden, which previously was an empty lot sitting next to the church, was originally envisioned by the organizer of St. Petes Community Outreach Program, Carrie Ware, members of OTSC and the Huntington Addiction and Wellness Center (HAWC). Over the course of 2021’s spring we have dug beds, built a fence and planted herbs, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, turnips and a multitude of other greens all aimed at supplementing HAWC’s kitchen and aiding those facing food insecurity. We even had a fundraising event in the late spring aimed at informing the community of our goals and disseminating information from our partners at HAWC whose labors have been nothing short of integral in meeting our goals and maintaining the upkeep of our garden.

This garden is open to all, and we could certainly use a hand in building upon what we already have. If you find yourself free on a Wednesday evening and would like to spend it with the community please do not hesitate to come and move some dirt with us, we would be happy to have you.