hen I started my ministry three years ago at “La Casita” which was located in Hoover, AL, we provided dry food, canned products, rice, beans, pasta, and cereal to the people in need of food assistance. I realized that it was not enough food and not very healthy. I knew that we needed to treat our people with dignity and that we needed to provide better food for them. Thanks be to God, we moved to our new building in Homewood in February, 2012, where we have a big space to plant some vegetables to provide fresh food to our people. The problem was that the space was a wasteland in terrible condition with a lot of garbage and underbrush. However, a group of 20 volunteers from the Hispanic and the Anglo communities worked together and cleared the land. Later on we built raised beds, and during spring we planted tomatoes, corn, cilantro, squash, watermelons, beans, peppers…and we had a great harvest to provide people with fresh vegetables, including a young lady with cancer who only can eat organic products. Early last we fall, we planted cilantro, spinach, lettuce, peppers, carrots, onions, and radishes, and we had another great harvest. In February of this year, we met with a group of volunteers to discuss new plans for our community garden. We decided to call it “Our Lady of Guadalupe Garden” because she is our model who shows us the love of God which promotes the dignity of every human being. We want to invite more volunteers to join our mission. You can call Kathy Self (428-5937) or Sr. Gabriela Ramirez (987-4771).
God bless you,
Sr. Gabriela Ramirez, MGSpS
Hispanic Catholic Social Services, Director.