[Madison Moore | WOUB]

HAPCAP for Health Launches Glouster Community Garden for the 2021 Growing Season

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GLOUSTER, Ohio (WOUB) – The HAPCAP for Health Program has officially launched the Glouster Community Garden, just in time for the 2021 growing season. The program has opened the garden for both HAPCAP-supported initiatives and public use.

The sign outside of the Glouster Community Garder
The goal of the garden is to provide the community with easy access to healthy food sources that are local and free. Food insecure southeast Ohio residents are able to reserve a spot and take advantage of the free plots that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For the past three years, Lydia Dippre, HAPCAP for Health Program manager, has dedicated her time focusing on the growth and purpose of the garden.

“If there are people in Glouster, Ohio who are homeless and hungry, or if you know there’s kiddos at home who don’t have access to a pumpkin at Halloween time or a can of green beans or something like that, please just come up and grab something. That is what it’s for,” Dippre said.

The HAPCAP for Health Program team will be implementing a number of educational opportunities for both internal program members and the public as the summer season advances.

“The participant groups in particular are going to be doing Snap Education. Snap Ed is going to come out and teach some healthy eating skills, how to use those fruits and vegetables that are grown in the garden,” Dippre said.

The HAPCAP for Health Program is planning on teaching an introduction to the business of agriculture for participants who might be interested in going into the farming industry.

“Teaching them how to grow, how to grow their own food, and teaching them about those opportunities in that realm will be beneficial,” Dippre said.

As far as the public opportunities go, the HAPCAP for Health team is still building those up. In the near future, the team plans on providing healthy meal kits made with produce from the garden that will be available for community members to grab.

“The community garden is meant for the community. We want residents to feel comfortable coming out and we want Glouster to take advantage of it,” she said. “This is something we want people to come out and just enjoy themselves. It provides a healthy and encouraging outlet for the community, just as much as it does for the youth.”

The HAPCAP for Health Program is looking for more community volunteers to help new gardeners and maintain the space.

“[The garden] allows the community to come together. And it allows the participants to get out and work. Especially the kids, because it teaches them skills they will need in life,” Athens County Summer Employment Job Coach, Jacob Cozad.

HAPCAP for Health encourages community members to keep an eye on official HAPCAP social media for further information as it becomes available. You can visit https://hapcap.org/our-programs/hapcap-for-health/ for more information.