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Wic Garden Project Seeks Participants

Volunteers needed, too

The Klickitat County Health Department is one of 12 agencies throughout the state that was recently awarded the WIC Fruits and Vegetables Community Partnership grant through the Washington State Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program.

Through this grant, KCHD will partner with Gorge Grown Food Network to implement the WIC Home Gardening project, which will increase gardening experience, self-sufficiency, and access to fresh produce among WIC families.

The project will provide WIC families with extensive nutrition and garden education, supplies to establish home gardens, and ongoing gardening mentorship from experienced gardeners.

The purpose of the WIC Home Gardening project is to address local food insecurity that impacts low-income families. In 2008, Klickitat County was the fourth most food insecure county in Washington state; 17 percent of residents were uncertain of having enough food to meet their basic needs.

The WIC Home Gardening project will bring together 10 volunteer garden mentors and 10 WIC families for the 12-month project, which starts in September 2010.

Garden mentors and WIC families will get to know each other during six monthly nutrition and garden workshops scheduled from October 2010 to March 2011. Garden mentors will provide garden support as necessary to WIC families growing their home gardens from March to September 2011.

The Klickitat County Health Department and the Gorge Grown Food Network are looking for experienced gardeners living in the White Salmon, Bingen and Goldendale area to volunteer as garden mentors in the WIC Home Gardening Project.

By volunteering as mentors, gardeners will help to increase garden skills and access to food among WIC families.

Other committed partners that will be involved in the WIC Home Gardening project include Mid-Columbia Children's Council Head Start (MCCC), WSU Extension, and Skamania-Klickitat County Early Learning Coalition (ELC).

If you would like more information about the project or are interested in volunteering as a garden mentor or participating as a WIC family, contact Meghann Dallin at 493-6234 or meghannd@co.klickitat.wa.us.

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

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