Holly Hirshberg who lives in San Antonio, Texas grew up in a family that always produced bountiful gardens filled with fresh produce. When she married and established a family of her own she continued this tradition until 2008 when the country fell apart in the Great Recession. Always creative, and a successful social entrepreneur, Holly realized that people could make up for the loss in income by growing some of their own food. If she provided the seeds along with gardening tips and information, why couldn’t people start their own gardens? (Even apartment dwellers can do this with container gardens.) And so the idea for Dinner Garden was born. Holly and her husband Sean registered Dinner Garden as a non-profit in 2009 and since then they have distributed more than 65,000 envelopes filled with seed packets to people all over the country and also were instrumental in the establishment of more than 190 community gardens.
When we met Holly and Sean on a visit to Texas a few months ago, Holly’s enthusiasm was the first thing we noticed. Surely, she could help alleviate hunger in this creative way. When we asked how the Good People Fund could help, it was quickly decided that funds to purchase thousands of zip-lock bags (of all sizes), mailing envelopes and postage could dramatically reduce the waiting list Dinner Garden maintains for people requesting seeds for their own gardens. Since seeds are donated, our funds allowed Holly to start her volunteers on a packing spree and before long envelopes were in the mail (the above picture shows some of those envelopes volunteers.)
This morning Holly shared the following email from a recipient of one of those packages. It certainly confirmed the value of our investment and reminded us of just how important alternative and innovative ideas will go towards alleviating hunger in this country.
Dear Dinner Garden,
I received in the mail yesterday an envelope with my seeds as a GIFT.
I wanted to share my excitement and how thankful I am. We have been
planting a garden in past years and this year with no income and 4
kids we were so upset that we did not have the money to go buy plants
and than(sic) the mail came and to my surprise my garden in a envelope. My
husband was hurt at work and we were told our son is going to have to
have heart surgery since his heart condition is not getting any
better. So with all the bad news, not even getting into the medical
problems with my 3 wonderful girls, this was a truly amazing gift
and I want you to know and understand how much you HELPED my family.
It was like a wish come true. Thank you again. Stacy
Lorain Ohio 44052
As Dinner Garden’s web site proudly proclaims, "You Can Grow Your Own Food" and the Good People Fund is thrilled to be able to help.