General Mills employees give back by gardening - New York News

General Mills employees give back by gardening

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It's an old adage: Eating your vegetables is good for the body. However, it appears growing and giving them away is good for the spirit.

A modest garden started by small group of employees at General Mills has produced more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce that's been donated to local food shelves.

"The people who go to the food shelve are not able to get fresh fruit and vegetables, and this is providing a really great opportunity for them to have a chance to eat fresh vegetables," gardener Candace Sweet said.

Kris Gauthier and Audra Hovick co-founded the Giving Garden four years ago.

"This has been the worst year out of the four years we've been doing this for weather. We got rained out two or three times. There was even one time we got snowed out this spring," Gauthier said.

A few co-workers from all areas of the company get together and garden a few hours a week, usually before or after work, but it's not uncommon to break up the work day by tending to their garden.

"It's such a great opportunity to get up out of your desk and get outside and help," Hovick said.

Each year, General Mills sells two million pounds of Green Giant vegetables, but it's the 2,000 pounds they grow and give away each year that they're most proud of.

"We have a lot of peppers when peppers are ripe, and the broccoli seems to do really, really well," Hovick said.

On Monday, they dropped off 44 pounds of fresh produce to Prism Food Shelf in Golden Valley.

Michelle Ness, executive director of Prism Food Shelf is grateful for the fresh contribution.

"Just like you and I like to have some diversity in our diet, it allows them to eat healthy foods, mix up the recipes that they're making. You enjoy summer a little bit more when you have some fresh produce," Ness said.

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