Recognizing a Positive Initiative

As food insecurity continues to haunt Texans across the state, folks in San Angelo make a stand and serve as a role model to the rest. A garden behind Fort Concho Elementary School has grown to provide healthy vegetables for young children and in addition teach the importance of self-sustainability. The original garden has seen significant growth in recent developments with the help of three VISTA summer associates as well as a donation of wood, topsoil and a grant from Share our Strength.

These progresses have helped build ten more plots (each 8 feet by 8-feet) adding to the amount of vegetables that can be produced and has continued to teach children the importance of proper nutrition.

Carol Rigby-Hiebert, is a remarkable co-organizer of the garden and Kids Eat! — a summer program that provides free food to children while they are not in school. She explained to the community that the garden’s purpose is simple, teaching self sufficiency. Many people do not realize that solving food security does not boil down to the production of food however it also must include access to proper food as well.

So what exactly is “Food Insecurity?” Texas, which ranks at No. 2 in the nation for food insecurity, refers to a condition within households lacking sufficient income and other resources to acquire enough food.

Rigby-Hiebert, who leads the group of local volunteers alongside local advocate Mary Herbert, is affiliated with the Texas Hunger Initiative, a grass-roots organization dedicated to stamping out hunger in the state. The two women strive to educate interested families along the way and hope the garden will be in full growth in the coming months.

Hunger is simply non-negotiable. The efforts of these two ladies should serve as an inspiration to others that seek to make a difference in their communities. Although the road ahead proves to be a long one, tackling this issue must come from the local, state and federal levels of government.