Wellness Center launches garden, micro pantry for Earth Day

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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In honor of Earth Day, the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center held an event involving gardening, a cooking class and a food drive. 

On Saturday, Auburn University faculty and students helped erect a community garden behind the health and wellness center building to grow plants and vegetables. According to Chambers County Extension Office Coordinator Rachel Snoddy, the idea came from a student intern, Jay Rodriguez. 

“It was a great event,” Snoddy said. “It was a beautiful morning. We had lots of people come out, students and some people from the community who came out to volunteer and help us build and plant.”

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The goal was to bring resources on healthy habits to the community for Earth Day. Booths with informational materials were set up, including the Rape Counselors of East Alabama, Auburn University cardiovascular/blood pressure screenings and Auburn Psychological Services. 

They also held a ribbon cutting in celebration of the recently added micro-pantries that will hold nonperishable donations from the food drive. For visitors as well as the 15 to 20 volunteers who came out to help, they offered bags with nonperishables to take home. 

“And that is completely stocked currently and people are welcome to come out and get food from the food pantry,” Snoddy said. “We still have some of those bags made up that are leftover that also contain groceries for people to come and get for free at the center.”

The staff and students at the center will maintain the community garden. Any produce will be available for free to visitors of the health and wellness center. 

Though the end of the semester is approaching, the center will still host weekly speech and hearing screenings, vaccination clinics and blood pressure screenings on Wednesdays. 

The center also hosted an exercise and cooking class last weekend to encourage healthy habits. One of the center’s student interns partnered with the Esperanza House, a nonprofit geared toward improving the quality of life for Hispanic children and families, to host the cooking class.