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Community Center opens food pantry

Children are not the only things growing at the Christian Love Community Center.

Two new tunnel houses are being built so the children at the community center can plant fruits and vegetables year round. The groundbreaking for the tunnel houses will be at 10 a.m. March 6.

“With the vegetables that the kids grow, we will teach them how to prepare meals,” said Lawanda Bell, youth coordinator at the Christian Love Community Center. “It will serve as nutrition education for the children. That goes along with our ‘Get Fit Kidz’ program that teaches them how to eat healthy, why it’s important to eat healthy, where our food comes from and the risks of not eating healthy.

“They can see how when they plant that little seed, that seed comes up to be something they can eat. It teaches them so much and gives them the opportunity to go out there and do it on their own.”

In addition to the tunnel houses, the community center is partnering with the Montgomery Area Food Bank to provide an on-site food pantry.

“There is a need,” Bell said. “A lot of people go overseas. They go to other countries to make a difference when there is a need right here in our community.”

The on-site food pantry will be free to the community, and the food will be available to those who make an appointment. March 17 will be the initial appointment day for the food pantry.

“In order to keep the on-site food pantry going, we will have to have donations made for the food pantry,” Bell said.

The community center will be accepting monetary donations for the food pantry. They money will be used to purchase food from The Montgomery Area Food Bank.

The fruits and vegetables from the community garden and from the tunnel houses can benefit the community, as well, and already have begun doing so.

Bell said the children have distributed fruits and vegetables to kids who are not physically able to get out in the garden themselves and have also given some to elderly citizens in Troy and the mayor.

“We are trying to make a difference here in the Troy community,” Bell said.

The Christian Love Community Center is a non-profit organization that provides a year-round program designed with the basic philosophy of helping children realize their full physical, mental and spiritual potential in a climate of stability and trust. The program seeks to strengthen, empower and inspire the lives of others.