Let Us Learn offered free produce and eggs to those in need last Saturday, May 29, 2021, at the New Albany First Church of God through its weekly Veggie Rescue program. Photo courtesy Let Us Learn
Let Us Learn offered free produce and eggs to those in need last Saturday, May 29, 2021, at the New Albany First Church of God through its weekly Veggie Rescue program. Photo courtesy Let Us Learn
NEW ALBANY — A New Albany initiative is bringing fresh local produce to community members in need.

The nonprofit Let Us Learn, Inc. is offering a weekly program called Veggie Rescue to provide free produce donated by local farmers and others in the community.

This year’s Veggie Rescue started a couple of weeks ago. It takes place every Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the New Albany First Church of God at 2248 Charlestown Road.

“A lot of the food pantries are not open on Saturday, and this is an opportunity for folks to get fresh, wholesome food on the weekends,” said Let Us Learn Director Gina Brown. “We don’t ask any questions, and no one fills out any forms.”

“We just ask you if you are in need or if you know someone who is at need.”

Let Us Learn is focused on issues of food insecurity and food literacy, and the nonprofit is involved in bringing gardens to Floyd County schools and others in the community.

Brown said the program started three years ago with a table set up in downtown New Albany after the farmers market.

Veggie Rescue features produce donated not only by local farmers but also home gardeners. It includes produce grown at Let Us Learn’s community and school gardens.

“Our mission is to foster food security by building community gardens and teaching food literacy,” Brown said. “We know families were hit really hard over the last year, and probably some families who didn’t feel at need before now need a little extra help after COVID hit.”

The usual Veggie Rescue program was put on hold last year, but the nonprofit still offered fresh produce for the families it serves, including students at local Title I schools.

Let Us Learn recently planted a community garden at the Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds. The nonprofit offers gardens at Fairmont, S. Ellen Jones and Green Valley elementary schools in New Albany, as well as a new garden at the Children’s Academy.

Produce from these gardens is donated to the Veggie Rescue program.

Last Saturday, Veggie Rescue gave away 20 dozen eggs and a variety of fresh produce, including lettuce, kale, onions, radishes and carrots.

Education is an important part of Veggie Rescue. Brown helped educate a family picking up food last weekend from Veggie Rescue about ways to cook kale.

“I believe families are just super busy and people do want to eat better and try new things, but

they don’t know what to do with some of these things,” she said.

Brown said the nonprofit’s goal is to eventually bring a “community-sharing” garden to New Albany, but Let Us Learn is still seeking a space for the project.

“Folks in the community can come together and grow the food to support that community,” she said.
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