Commonwealth is Alive in Garden City!
July 26, 2020

In my volunteer experience with the Salvation Army, there’s a strong connection between Spirituality, Health, and Foodshed. The Salvation army is “first and foremost” a church, a place for people to learn about and grow in their relationship with God. They host a variety of social service programs for local families, but I’ve been volunteering specifically with the Produce Distribution that takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Volunteers travel to the local grocery store and collect any meat, fruits, vegetables, breads, or desserts that have expired and been placed in the freezer. After weighing, we sort each item into a box as evenly as possible. The Salvation Army offers the spirituality and connection between this community, health and foodshed are key in the reasons we collect and distribute food. We want to help the clients as best we can to provide food for their family. Poverty and food insecurity are rooted much deeper than a lack of money, but by providing food for people, we can ease the burden of finding food so their energy and resources can be used in a beneficial way to improve their situation. 

In the Garden City and surrounding community, I’ve seen examples of the commonwealth assets everywhere! This weekend, there was a Sidewalk Chalk contest hosted where participants create a design on the sidewalk of the park near main street, encouraging the Arts & Culture asset to thrive.

Health combines with Leisure and Recreation; it’s promoted through the sidewalk sale as people walk and shop down main street, stroll through the park with the newly added sidewalk chalk, or spend the day in the zoo. Even with the health restrictions facing the community, citizens are still finding ways to enjoy social opportunities and enhance their well-being. Situated in Southwest Kansas, the community faces some precipitation limitations from the Rocky Mountains and their distance from the Gulf of Mexico, but they use the Water Cycle to create a beautiful landscape in their yards and parks, increasing the Wildlife & Natural World assets with green grass, lots of birds, and an abundance of squirrels. Nearby, in Deerfield, we celebrated Deerfield Days with the community with a live concert, food trucks, and a firework show, promoting a Sense of Place and Recreation & Leisure throughout the area. What a fun place to intern and spend my summer!