Conetoe Community Garden
by John Etheredge
The Presbyterian Church (USA) Committee for the Self-Development of People awarded to Conetoe Community Garden a check in the amount of $13,844.00 to grow organic garden. Working with the garden will help empower the youth of the Conetoe area change their community.
Conetoe is a rural town in Edgecombe County in North Carolina with a population of 365. Per capita income for the town is $14,774. There is a high incidence of obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Last year alone, these diseases claimed the lives of 32 individuals under the age of 35 years old. Fifty-eight youth between the ages of 5 and 17 participate in the project. They work together to create a sustainable food system. Youth leadership plan and run the program, deciding what to plant, where to sell the produce and how to distribute and reinvest profits. The garden provides youth a small stipend as well as fresh vegetables for their family use. The garden expanded from 2 to 17 acres.
The garden has helped build a good relationship between community and youth. They have gained knowledge and new skills as well as confidence in themselves. They are learning from peers across North Carolina through participation in leadership training and statewide gatherings.
Presbyterian Church (USA) Committee for the Self-Development of People assists the church in carrying out its global commitment to work toward the self-development of economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people, who own, control and benefit directly from projects that promote long-term change in their lives and community.
(Are you a member of a group of low-income persons working on issues of importance to you and your community, will working on these issues result in long-term positive change? Are you in need of financial assistance? Contact SDOP at (502)-569-5782, (www.pcusa.org/sdop) we would welcome talking with you and possibly hosting a community workshop in your area).
John Etheredge is Chairperson of the South Task Force of the National Self-Development of People Committee and the Presbytery of New Hope SDOP Committee. He also serves on the Community Relations Committee, a standing committee of the National Self-Development of People Committee.