Bellevue garden seeks support of community it serves |

Bellevue garden seeks support of community it serves

North Hills Community Outreach’s Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden in Bellevue has entered the Seeds of Change Grant Program and the organization needs your help.

Through April 19, people can vote at The community can vote daily by looking for “Sauro.”

The program is awarding $310,000 in total grants to 24 garden projects nationally in recognition of food, farming, nutrition, and sustainability.

A few years ago, Sirianni’s family approached NCHO with land in Bellevue they wanted to donate. During the Depression, Sirianni grew vegetables and sold or donated them to the community.

“When she passed away, the family decided they wanted the vegetables to be grown to benefit the community,” said Jennifer Kissel, the NCHO director of communications. They accepted the land as a way to get volunteers involved, cleared the land and the vacant lot next to it, and use it to grow organic fruits and vegetables for the three community food pantries.

Alyssa Crawford is the garden’s only full-time employee, and she coordinates 250-300 volunteers a year, most of whom are already involved in NCHO in some way, such as former donor-turned volunteer Andrea Maire.

Maire is responsible for weeding, starting seeds, planting turning over beds and harvesting.

“I like to garden and I knew this was something offered by NCHO,” Maire said. “I find it very rewarding, and over 4500 pounds of fruits and vegetables were harvested last year. It’s important for people to get good nutrition.”

Crawford is the one who came across Seeds of Change and applied for the grant, highlighting how the money would be used to nourish a greener community and grow the gardening program further. NCHO is a nonprofit organization that serves local families in poverty and hardship through a variety of programs, including the garden. As such, donations from the community and grants are required to keep it going.

After voting is closed, the top 50 gardens with the most votes move on to the final judging phase.

“Bellevue community is very supportive of our garden,” Kissel said. “We’re always really grateful for all of the community support we get.”

Voting publicly is a way to show support as well. Additionally, it is a way to spread the word about the garden and NCHO in general to the rest of the community.

“People aren’t always able to donate or volunteer, but … voting one time a day for three weeks is a simple, excellent way to help us get this grant and help people in need in our community get fresh, organic vegetables from our food pantry,” Kissel said.

Rebecca L. Ferraro is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.