Stillman College gets $10k donation for community garden

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Daniel Tomas

Stillman College’s budding Community Garden is getting a financial boost this summer so it can continue fighting food inequalities with an expansion.

Metz Culinary Management, which supplies Stillman’s cafeteria, made a $10,000 donation toward the garden on July 1.

Metz’s donation is going toward growing collard greens that will be used in Stillman’s cafeteria as well as distributed to families in the area.

The garden also contains corn, peas, melons, root vegetables, tomatoes and blueberries.

According to Feeding America, 14% of residents and 18% of children in Tuscaloosa County are food insecure. The issue is exacerbated in West Tuscaloosa, where residents have a median household income of under $26,000, according to the 2020 census.

Stillman Faith-Based and Social Justice Initiatives Executive Director Gordon Govens said expanding the garden will help residents in West Tuscaloosa who struggle with obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The community garden was started so we could address food insecurity in the West End,” Govens said. “Most people don’t know this is within a food desert.”

A food desert is an area with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Residents may lack transportation to and from grocery stores, or the stores in the area may not sell fresh produce.

“It’s an absolute pleasure,” said Metz District Manager Jamie Beazley. “We’re looking forward to the expansion of the garden and being able to prepare the produce that is going to be grown here for the community.”

Stillman is partnering with Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church as early as this fall to give out the food grown in the garden.

You can read more about the partnership and donation right here.

Categories: Local News