We always feel extra inspired when young people in our community come up with ideas to creatively support our mission. Isaac, a Sheboygan high school student and local Eagle Scout, is our most recent inspiration. Isaac carved time out of his summer to develop an Eagle Scout project to furnish raised garden beds at Sheboygan County Food Bank (SCFB).
“I decided to help (SCFB) because of their impactful mission to eliminate food insecurity here in Sheboygan County. I volunteered for (SCFB) many times in the past and I thought a helpful way to help them out is to build the garden beds so they can grow fresh produce for members in the community.” – Isaac Brashaw
Isaac presented his plan to our staff and then coordinated a weekend-long brat fry to help fund the materials he needed to purchase. (Selling brats, burgers, and even “Oostburgers” to our community to help our community – it’s the Sheboygan way!) On a sunny Saturday Isaac teamed up with his family members and a group of fellow Eagle Scouts to build and install six raised garden beds. The beds flank the front door entrance to our warehouse.
“We’re very grateful that Isaac put in so much work to help raise money for and install the raised garden beds. We’ll be able to get more fresh produce in the hands of local families in need, for years to come, and hopefully inspire others to do the same at their homes, organizations they’re a part of, and places they work. – Patrick Boyle, Executive Director, Sheboygan County Food Bank.
To help prepare and maintain nutrient-rich dirt for the raised beds, we recently invested in a composter. We’ll plan to add food scraps, coffee grounds and other compostable materials to the composter and our team has been invited to haul in their own compostable food waste from home. A future volunteer committee will help tend to the raised beds that will grow leafy greens, tomatoes, green beans, and more. Then the harvested produce will regularly and promptly be distributed through our network of food pantries, our Herb Kohler and Natalie Black Community Cafe and the new Hmong Cafe that serves free Hmong-cuisine meals, to be enjoyed by our neighbors in need.
We believe that every person has the right to access healthy foods. Having the raised garden beds aligns perfectly with a core part of our mission to “distribute healthy emergency food” and our Healthy Food Policy. As a fresh approach to ending local hunger, the policy outlines how we focus on collecting and distributing fresh, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
If you have your own garden or fruit trees, our doors are open and coolers are ready. We happily accept both fresh and non-perishable food donations, Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 3 PM, at our location, 3115 N. 21st Street in Sheboygan. Food and cash donations are especially important right now in the wake of inflation and other challenges keeping the cost of living high for families. So far in 2023, SCFB has been serving about 5,000 families each month through food pantries and our other partner agencies, which is up almost 60% percent from 2022.
As we continue to be there for our community when they need us most, projects like Isaac’s not only keep us inspired, but also give us hope.