Written By: Skyler Everhart, Pictures provided by: Alyssa Penrod
Giving Garden OKC has been through many stages, from locations, team members, and even the name! Giving Garden OKC’s mission is growing sustainability for communities for the community.
The beginning of Giving Garden OKC started with a strong-willed woman named Jenn Mabry and a passion to help those in need. She loves to garden and that's when it hit her: a place where volunteers could help grow and harvest fruits and vegetables for the local Homeless Alliance.
Ms. Jenn quotes “I honestly didn’t know I was creating the garden, it kind of took me and swooped me up. I started growing and there was a small food pantry that needed fresh produce and I started donating there. I started finding volunteers, teaching them how to garden, and we started growing to much for that particular food pantry, so I contacted the homeless alliance which is a day shelter in Oklahoma City and they feed breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday to in between 300 to 400 individuals a day, and it's just grown from there. So it kinda started itself and is branching out to
hopefully feed the greater good of Oklahoma City”.
You can watch the full interview here.
The Chesapeake company donated land to Jenn to start
Giving Garden OKC. They gave Jenn a big space with
many plots to work with. TLC Garden Center funded the
garden before it became a non-profit organization.
The Garden started growing more and more, more volunteers started coming and eventually, an organization sprouted. Girl Scout Troop 577’s Juniors during this time came and worked with Jen for their Bronze award. They created an edible flower AND a pollinator plot.
After weeks and weeks of hard work, they had a beautiful plot.
But like all businesses have ups and downs. Sadly, Chesapeake wouldn’t be donating the land to Giving Garden OKC anymore.
Meaning, they could harvest all the crops, pack everything up, and find a different location. But that didn't stop Ms. Jenn.
Now, the garden has developed and it's better than ever! We have moved locations, gained new volunteers, even school volunteers! And you can volunteer too! By visiting www.givinggardenokc.com.