Three-year-old Willa Chmura loved to pick tomatoes this summer especially when she got to eat them. However, her mother, Christi Chmura, was sure that enough vegetables were collected to not only to feed the family, but to feed some of Southington’s neediest residents.
Twice each week, mother and daughter would take bags overflowing with the bountiful harvest to the Bread for Life kitchen, located in the Masonic Lodge at 76 Main St. Clients who came for the weekday noon meal were welcome to take a variety of fresh produce, which was a treat for many. They sometimes referred to the donors as “The Garden Girls” or “The Garden Ladies.”
“The sharing of the fruits of their labor from their growing garden was very much appreciated by our clients,” said Eldon Hafford, Bread for Life executive director, according to a press release from the agency.
The news release reported Christi Chmura said her husband, Bill Chmura, volunteered with Bread for Life several years ago thus they were familiar with the food program. This summer, after planting a huge garden, the release said they knew they wanted to share their agricultural wealth. In three beds measuring 4 feet wide and 50 feet long in their backyard, they planted more than 75 tomato plants, cucumbers, eggplant, green peppers, carrots, beans, and other vegetables. The produce was grown organically without pesticides, the release said.
“Our family was so glad that we could do it. It was very rewarding feeling like we were doing it for a good cause,” Christi Chmura said, reported the news release. “It was also a good teaching tool for our kids,” she said referring to Willa, David, 6, and Haley, 15. The home project became a family cause and everyone pitched in knowing that it was for a good cause.
“They helped so much in feeding the hungry here in Southington,” Hafford said, according to the press release. “And we are happy that they plan to continue sharing next year’s harvest with us as well.”
For more information about Bread for Life, visit the website www.southingtonbreadforlife.org .