Botetourt County church grows Garden of Grace

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A church in Botetourt County is growing a community and fighting hunger through its Garden of Grace.

“Before long, it will be every other day you’ll be getting the stuff out,” Pastor Chuck Miller said.

As Miller walks through the rows of produce behind Wheatland Evangelical Lutheran Church, it’s clear this community garden is a labor of love.

“It is absolutely one of the best missions in ministry that we have ever had the fortune and ability to be a part of,” Miller said.

Miller and his congregation started planting produce several years ago. The idea began with just a few beds at the top of the hill near the church. Now there’s about an acre dedicated to this Garden of Grace.

All the plants and much of the work has been donated by community members.

The land is bringing folks together with businesses and people volunteering their time, money and expertise to help neighbors in need.

“There is definitely, 100% food insecurities in this community. And what this does is allow us to continue feeding the community in a way that is healthy,” Miller said.

Wheatland Evangelical Lutheran Church donates its produce to local food banks and has partnered with Feeding Southwest Virginia to host a weekly meal pickup.

Now the church hopes to feed even more people after installing a drip irrigation system last month.

“It excites me to the degree that, yeah, there’s days that it is hot and humid and I lose eight pounds in one afternoon out here, but it is absolutely 100% worth it knowing that we are doing what Christ asked us to do,” he said.

Feeding Children through Feeding Southwest Virginia happens every Friday at the church from 2 to 5 p.m.

All children 18 and under qualify.

To learn more about the program or the Garden of Grace, visit the Wheatland Evangelical Lutheran Church website.

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