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People's Garden
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The People's Garden

NCAUR began its People’s Garden in 2010 and has donated a total of 14,000 pounds of produce to date (excluding the 2020 pandemic year). Harvests from the garden are typically donated to local food pantries, kitchens, and other charity groups for distribution to needy families and other community members. In 2023, NCAUR volunteers donated 2097.2 pounds of harvested produce to Sophia’s Angels Kitchen. Sophia's Kitchen serves 300-500 people each weekday and have a food pantry once a week.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack established the People’s Garden Initiative in 2009 to encourage departmental employees nationwide to reconnect with the communal act of growing food and sharing the bounty with others. More broadly, these community-centered gardens reflect USDA’s commitment to strengthen local food systems and enhance access to nutritious foods.

“Harvesting produce raised from seed is the reward at the end of all the labor,” said Roberts. “Not only does the produce go to feeding people in need, but practicing cultivation helps us to understand and relate to the stakeholders we aim to serve.”