Richmond police build garden to help local food bank

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police officers from the Third Precinct of the Richmond Police Department are out planting a garden, in their own parking lot on Thursday afternoon, to help the Central Virginia Food Bank.

This is a national campaign called Plant a Row for the Hungry and it's coming right here to Richmond. It's involving police officers in your own community and their efforts, along with your work, are going to have a lasting impact at the Central Virginia Food Bank.

This isn't your typical place to plant a garden, in the middle of a police station parking lot. But the make-shift produce producer, is a first of its kind, to benefit the food bank.

"In the summer months, you want to eat salads, you want a fresh fruit. So, for a project like this for someone that's helping the community stay safe is also helping to stay healthy is extremely exciting for us to see," says Kristin Van Story with the Central Virginia Food Bank.

Sergeant Chris Jernigan and a group of other officers brought up the idea of starting this garden a few weeks ago, and it quickly blossomed into reality.

"I suggested the Plant a Row campaign as a project for our precinct and the idea took off like wild weeds," Third Precinct Sgt. Chris Jernigan said. "I took the idea to Lowe's to see if they could just help us build it and they agreed to donate everything we needed to get the garden off the ground – from soil to plants. It's the best example of community spirit I've seen in a long time."

There is nothing large about the garden. But the food bank hopes it makes an impression on the entire community, an example of what just a few people can do to help so many.

"You don't have to have a large piece of land. You don't have to have a huge garden at your house. You can do this!" says Van Story.

It all is helping to stock these refrigerators at the food bank and help the thousands of people who rely on this fresh produce at the food kitchen every day.

Something interesting to note here is this project really comes at the perfect time. We are just about a month away from school ending and the number of kids the food bank will feed is about to double.

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