Honor Garden dedicated to local veterans

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
When Amber Hudson and Elaine Fowler founded the M.A.S.H (Military and Service Heroes) Food Pantry and Resource Center, they did so with an intention to create a lavish garden within the community so that fresh and local fruits and vegetables could be served to the veterans, first responders, and their families who need to access the goods offered at the center. And while the establishment of said garden may have taken longer than they had originally planned, they can now say their dream has finally been realized. On July 13, Hudson and Fowler hosted a public dedication and volunteer appreciation event as the M.A.S.H Honor Garden on Harrisburg Pike officially opened for harvesting. “It is so exciting to finally see this garden up and running, so to speak,” said Hudson, a Navy veteran. According to the co-founders, they were able to build the large garden at 5236 Harrisburg Pike after receiving a grant from Home Depot and finding many willing green thumbs from local businesses and civic groups who wanted to assist in the building of and the tending to this special garden. There are currently 48 raised beds on the property, most built by members of the Grove City Rotary Club and the American Legion Post 164, and they are filled with an assortment of fruits, vegetables and herbs that will now help feed more than 100 local veterans, first responders and their families. “It is so nice to be able to do this for our heroes,” said Fowler. “Food is a great comfort, a great way of bringing people together, and we hope this pantry and garden will be able to help them as much as they have helped us.” Pictured here preparing food for the celebration is Lonnie DuShane, the executive director of operations at the M.A.S.H Food Pantry and Resource Center. DuShane previously was a production chef at Operation Blessing.
M.A.S.H volunteer Sabra Hudson gives the plants a quality watering.
Galloway resident and Army veteran David Flannigan inspects the vegetables at the Honor Garden.
City of Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage and State Rep. Laura Lanese were on hand to present certificates of appreciation and recognition for the founders, volunteers and builders of the pantry and resource center and the Honor Garden. Pictured from left to right are Lonnie Maxson, Larry Titus, Mary Titus, Amber Hudson, Stage, Lanese, Jackson Township trustee Jim Rauck, and Elaine Fowler. The pantry and resource center is located at 2996 Columbus St., within the Victorious Living Church. It is typically open the first and third Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Veterans and their families can access the pantry regardless of income or their zip code. They will have to provide a veteran ID or DD214, NGB22, and a state ID. For more information, visit www.mashpantry.org.


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