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In 2005, when Rev. Harden Hopper was appointed pastor of Cartecay United Methodist Church, he challenged the co-chairmen of Missions, Don and Sharon Smith, to envision an outreach within our community, rather than the usual contributions to overseas missionaries.  Since the Smiths' had been taking excess produce from their home garden to the Gilmer Community Food Pantry for years, their first thought was a large garden to benefit the Pantry.  A long-time member of the Pantry's board of directors, Joan Blomquist, was also a member of the church and the three of them took the idea to the Board of Trustees to get funding.  Providence surely had a hand in the matter:  Bill Ford, owner of Johnson's Nursery, was present and offered to furnish a plot of land next to his office and provide irrigation for the project.  The church agreed to budget $600.00 a year for seed, plants and supplies.  Crops that will not keep from one Wednesday distribution day to the next would be sold at the church's thrift store, with proceeds going toward the garden upkeep.

This garden has grown from a fenced-in area of 120' by 55' in 2005 to three-quarters of an acre.  Crops that are deer-proof are planted outside the fence.  There are three plantings a year-spring, summer & fall.  Produce includes potatoes, tomatoes, squash, green beans, cantaloupes, watermelon, peppers, cabbage, okra, cucumbers and greens.  The cost is three cents per pound, thanks to all-volunteer labor from churches, garden club, master gardeners and neighbors.  They expect to meet their goal of 25,000 pounds of produce for the Food Pantry in 2011!!  A very special thanks to all the volunteers who's hard work benefit the hungry in Gilmer County.  Without their work & dedication, this certainly would not happen.

All supporters of the Food Pantry are invited to visit the site on Big Creek Rd. at and especially, to volunteer and help us work the garden! 

GILMER COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY

Feeding Families in Gilmer County Since 2001
‚ÄčLocated @ 5273 Hwy 52E, Ellijay, GA

‚Äč706-273-3663