Update on The Garden Feeding Initiative (from Rick Boosey)

 

Four weekends into Cobblestone's support of the The Garden Initiative, things are moving really fast.  We asked Rick to give us a quick update on his thoughts and some potential next steps.


From Rick Boosey, Caretaker of World Garden

When we started feeding those less fortunate, we had a vision to feed 5,000 per week. We knew that we couldn't do it by ourselves, and so when we connected with Cobblestone Project, we knew there were possibilities far beyond anything our team could do alone.

The first month of the "Garden" has exceeded our expectations, both in the sheer amount of food prepared and the number of volunteers involved. In fact, on average we end up with twice the volunteers we need and that's exciting.

Now that we can reliably prepare food weekly, it's time to encourage/recruit other kitchens – our vision is a "network of people", food and kitchens that eventually end hunger in NWA. That's no small undertaking. We will not replace the agencies that love on people, instead will come along side and supply food/meals so that they work on core services. It will take time, teamwork, sacrifice - it will be messy at times, but with a community working together, thinking outside the box – with additional projects like with the "Community Farm" in the spring, you can step back and see in a few years we can end hunger in Northwest Arkansas as a "community loving on a community". 

This project is scalable beyond NWA – once we get the our network of kitchens and people operationally – we will share with other cities – the possibilities blow us away.

Our next phase is providing Thanksgiving Dinner for 288 people – why - we want to serve those who have had a tough time this year. If you want to get involved, send an email to food@cobblestoneproject.org. There are lots of ways to serve, prep, organizing, scheduling, provide food, cook, serve a dining room shift, clean or deliver to shut-ins. Let's put Thanksgiving back in proper perspective this year and give back a portion what we have been given. And from a longer-term perspective, the Thanksgiving meal begins the milestone of providing meals more than once per week, part of our long term strategy. 

We are honored to be a part of what's happening – transforming lots of people (including our kids) into servant leaders. Our prayer is the next generation just gets what we'll all learning.

Blessings

rick and cindy boosey | caretakers, world garden | shop # 479.715.0535 | fax # 479-657-6313 | rick@worldgardensalads.com


On behalf of the Cobblestone Project, it has been an incredible joy and honor to work with Rick on support this vision and initiative.  Rick & Cindy's generosity and humility have been so encouraging and enableing.  We are anxious to move forward and as the kitchen coordination (the most difficult part) starts to settle it will open up broader distribution opportunities.

For info on how to get plugged in to the Garden initiative, visit the initiative page or send an email to food@cobblestoneproject.org and we will be in touch.

And, if you haven't had a chance to have a meal at World Garden make sure you sneak over and see where all the magic is taking place.  Chances are you'll catch Rick blazing around the restaurant, but catch him for a few minutes and give him a big hug.