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Kiwanis Grants Equaling $13,500 Awarded to Establish Greater Topsail Area Community Garden

Kiwanis Grants Equaling $13,500 Awarded to Establish Greater Topsail Area Community Garden

Hampstead, NC – August 19, 2023

The Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island, Surf City Rotary Club, and Share the Table are pleased to announce they have received a $10,000 grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund and a $3,500 grant from the Carolinas Kiwanis District to be used to establish the Greater Topsail Area Community Garden in Hampstead, NC.  Through community volunteer leadership, the garden project aims to grow and harvest fresh produce for Share the Table, which feeds neighbors in need in Pender and Onslow Counties.

The partnership between the Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island, Surf City Rotary, and Share the Table reflects a shared commitment to address food insecurity and promote healthy living in our local communities. With the support of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, this project will create a sustainable solution to meet the nutritional needs of families and individuals who struggle to access fresh, healthy food options.

The Greater Topsail Area Community Garden will serve as a vibrant hub for community volunteers, fostering collaboration, education, and engagement as individuals of all ages learn about sustainable garden practices and promote environmental stewardship.

“We are thrilled to partner with Share the Table and receive these grants from Kiwanis Children’s Fund and Carolinas District,” said Cathi Litcher, Community Garden Director, currently serving as the Community Liaison for the Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island Area. “ The Greater Topsail Area Garden will address the pressing issue of food insecurity in our region and empower our community members to take an active role in their health and nutrition.  Together, we can significantly impact our neighbor’s healthy food choices.” 

The funds will be allocated toward essential infrastructure and resources for the community garden, including constructing raised garden beds, a greenhouse, and irrigation systems and procuring high-quality seeds and plants.  Future educational programs and workshops will be offered through Share the Table to guide individuals in food selection, preservation, and healthy cooking practices.

“We are extremely grateful to the Kiwanis organization for their generous grant,” expressed Dawn Ellis, Founder and Executive Director of Share the Table. “Through this collaboration, we will create an inclusive space that brings our community together while promoting food security and healthy fresh produce choices. The Greater Topsail Area Community Garden will symbolize unity, where people from all walks of life can connect and learn from one another.”

Surf City Rotary Club President Hugh Hawthorne added, “Our Rotary club members are excited about this opportunity to serve and grow needed food while enjoying healthful outdoor activity. Our volunteers will benefit as much as our neighbors in need.”

Infrastructure for the garden will be is underway, and the first seedlings were planted on August 15 by the Topsail High School FFA Officers. There are two Community Garden Volunteers Work Days scheduled, one on Saturday, September 16, from 8 am to 10:30 am and another scheduled for Saturday, September 30, from 8 am to 10:30 am. All ages are welcome, and no gardening experience is needed.

For further information, please contact:

Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island Area, Cathi Litcher, Community Garden Director Phone: 919-422-9698

Share the Table, Dawn Ellis, Executive Director Phone: 910-616-8897

Surf City Rotary Club, Hugh Hawthorne, Club President 2023-23 Phone: 910-232-2888

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