Provo Community Action Services and Food Bank, Miss Provo serve community

Hillary Whittaker puts seeds into small bags. She is the Community Gardens Manager. (Jonas Wright)

Community Action Services and Food Bank, located in Provo, prepared seeds for community gardens on Feb. 21, with the help of Miss Provo.

Designated as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, Community Action Services and Food Bank is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering self-reliance in individuals, families and the community, according to Chief Impact Officer Jessica Miller.

The agency has five community gardens where people without personal access to garden space can have a plot and learn how to grow their own food. The agency provides large packets of seeds to those who go through the food bank, along with watering tools.

Hillary Whittaker, community gardens manager, prepared the seeds on Wednesday, Feb. 21 with the help of Miss Provo Molli Eaton.

“Today we are breaking down our big seed packets into smaller ones that we can put into our pantries and just share with the community, so that people can grow their own food,” Whittaker said.

The Community Action Services and Food Bank. They are low on donations. (Jonas Wright)

Apart from community gardens, people can also grow their seeds in containers or even on their own porch. Though the agency recently received seed donations, Miller said they are in dire need of more.

“Historically, we’ve liked to keep about a million pounds of food in here. And right now, there’s under 200,000 pounds of food. So, we’re at about less than 20% of where we want to be,” Miller said. She added this was because of an increase in demand for food assistance.

Besides the food bank, the agency offers housing assistance, financial education and simple budget management, creating opportunities to help people get back on their feet.

Part of being Miss Provo involves serving the community by focusing on a special initiative throughout the year, Eaton said.

Eaton said her main initiative is to help immigrants learn about scholarship opportunities and college applications through FAFSA and government aid.

People can donate to the Community Action Services and Food Bank on their website.

Miss Provo volunteers at Community Action Services and Food Bank. They pack seeds into small bags. (Jonas Wright)
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