Garden Pool Provides Local Community with FREE and Accessible Produce
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Beginning as a local nonprofit, Garden Pool spearheaded the Seed Library Program throughout Maricopa County and built climate-smart farms across the valley. Determined to provide food security for all communities in need, Garden Pool soon became an international NGO. With the help and support of the Mesa community, Garden Pool has helped with hurricane recovery efforts in Barbuda, built climate-smart farms in Nevis, and held workshops for Suriname locals, among other projects. With the ongoing support of the Mesa community, the opportunity to provide food security within their own region is possible yet again.
The Garden Pool storefront has been in development since January 2017 and celebrated its official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in July 2018. The storefront provides materials for locals to create and maintain at-home gardens and will soon be utilized as the location for Garden Pool’s Community Fridge!
Within this storefront is a refrigerator, originally meant to serve as a storage and pick-up location from Taste of Paradise and other locals, however, since the grand opening, the location has received less foot traffic than anticipated. In order to utilize the space as effectively as possible, Garden Pool has taken on a new project through ChangeX in an effort to create an access point for local patrons to give and receive, while ultimately preventing good food from going to waste.
Community Fridges are communal places where surplus food is shared with the local community by local businesses and individuals. Garden Pool’s public fridge program will aim to decrease local food waste and increase the redistribution of fresh, nutritious food in the area. By providing healthy food options in an accessible and communal way, Garden Pool will be able to address and improve social isolation and community cohesion, while reducing food deserts and malnutrition. With the implementation of this project, the community will become more knowledgeable about sustainable practices and have all-inclusive access to whatever the fridge has to offer.
The Downtown Mesa Community Fridge is officially launching on Wednesday, August 7th, at 10am. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in the presence of Mesa City Council members, Maricopa County Food Coalition Members, as well as other esteemed guests. Bring any unwanted food you have by, or take anything you might need!
Located within the El Rancho Del Sol community, the Garden Pool storefront is a short walk away from neighboring apartments and the Mesa Dr. and Main St. light rail stop. Stop by to learn about Garden Pool’s projects, the upcoming Community Fridge, and more.