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State Comptroller Susana Mendoza visits Union County Gardens in Anna

adults standing in a garden
Benjy jeffords
State Comptroller Susana Mendoza visited Union County Gardens in Anna.

State leaders are working to battle food insecurity - particularly in southern and central Illinois. The Union County Gardens in Anna had a visit from the state comptroller Monday, to see how they are helping residents.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza was invited to tour the Union County Gardens by Shari Sweeney Sadowski and her husband Tom Sadowsky.

The garden was started seven years ago with two raised garden beds.

Since then, they’ve grown to twenty-four beds and produce around two-thousand pounds of produce for the food pantry next door.

Sweeney-Sadowski says they saw the demand on the food pantry and wanted to help.

“Telling us they do about 150 clients, senior clients every month. They once a month they come on a Tuesday and they benefit. And a lot of times if we see them, we'll say, Hey, do you want some spinach or but that is actually where it's grown the most. It's the seniors.”

Mendoza says the way this garden came to be is incredible.

“It's so nice. At time I would ask her, what do you want to do in your retirement? And instead of go off and have fun vacations and do things like that, it serve the people and fulfill a dream that she always had with her from her days in college and so it's a beautiful thing.”

The garden helps provide fresh food for up to 75 people a week at the food pantry.

For more information about Union County Gardens click here.

Benjy Jeffords is a digital media production specialist at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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