You and #ToledoME: Toledo GROWs planting the seeds for positive change

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By Madison Humphrey | 

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Toledo GROWs took root in 1995. It connects people to healthy food, revitalizes neighborhoods and brings people together.

“It’s really all about education and helping people learn to grow,” Executive Director Yvonne Dubielak said.

The organization’s main farm is located on Oneida Road, just off Cherry Street in Downtown Toledo. There, crews of volunteers help grow the plants, tend to the hens and bees, educate young minds and harvest the produce for distribution.

Toledo GROWs has grown to support 125 community gardens throughout the city. These gardens can be found at schools, churches and more.

“There are an awful lot of people buying or renting land from the land bank, and they’re putting beautiful gardens on there,” Dubielak said. “Instead of vacant lots and kind of nasty looking spaces, they have beautiful, vibrant gardens on them.”

But the gardens serve a larger purpose: making fresh and healthy fruits and veggies accessible to everyone. Dubielak says there are a lot of food deserts in Toledo, and this is one way people can grow food for themselves.

“It’s really heartening to see when communities come together, learn to grow food together, share that. They share that meal together. It means a lot to our staff to be a part of that,” Dubielak added.

Toledo GROWs relies on generous volunteers — like YOU! If you’d like to get involved, there are volunteer hours every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. You can also get connected to the organization’s website, toledogrows.org.

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