Feeding the Hungry at Mercer Gardens

It was a labor of love for a group of volunteers at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Volunteers spent the morning harvesting hundreds of pounds of winter greens to donate to the Houston Food Bank.

“This is a great example of how plants can be both ornamental and nutritional,” said Mercer Greenhouse Manager Jacob Martin. “We planted the kale and Swiss chard during the cooler months to add a little color to our seasonal flower beds. Rather than letting the greens go to waste, we decided to donate them.”

After contacting the Houston Food Bank, Martin learned fresh food was in high demand for the food bank and arranged for a delivery truck to pick up the veggies hours after being harvested.

In all, volunteers harvested 536 pounds of Swiss chard and 456 pounds of kale. The greens will be used during the Houston Food Bank’s nutrition education classes to teach visitors how to turn fresh produce into meals.

“We’re proud of our staff and volunteers for coming up with innovative ways to serve our community in multiple ways,” says Commissioner R. Jack Cagle.