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About VEGI

overcoming food insecurity through the beauty of gardening
Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) works to fight hunger by sowing the seeds of nutrition education and community through connection with gardening. Students and community members work together to learn more about gardening and provide fresh produce for local hunger relief efforts. Gardens throughout the San Luis Valley provide relief for overcoming food insecurity and its complications while encouraging healthy choices. VEGI connects people to the beauty of gardening, from seed to harvest.

We believe in the power of working together to create solutions. VEGI fights hunger through community relief efforts; growing fresh produce, encouraging people to try new foods, and offering opportunities for involvement at garden sites.

Digging Deeper

Frequently asked questions

To fight hunger, we must begin to address the root causes. Hunger in the United States is fundamentally a nutritional issue, not a lack of calories. You can have chips and a soda for breakfast and recieve the calories for the day, but not had any of the food you need to fuel your body and brain. We are proud to partner with the Food Bank Network by offering the fresh produce grown in our gardens. In order to encourage community members to actually reach for the nutritious food, we seek to reconnect them to where their food comes from by educating them about gardening.

La Puente is grateful to the Safeway Foundation for its recent award of $2,500 that will benefit VEGI’s 2017 programming. VEGI will use these funds to offer garden-based camps in Alamosa, in Del Norte through the High Valley Community Center (HVCC), and in the towns of Blanca-Ft. Garland. This grant will make possible the purchasing of curriculum materials needed to run dynamic summer programming that offers youth the chance to dig their hands in the soil, harvest what they have planted, and learn through community the process of growing and preparing healthful foods.

VEGI recognizes each of its supporters and is appreciative of the combined effort it takes to address the “root” causes of local food insecurity. Every dollar donated helps plant a seed that can then flourish into an educational opportunity, a gardening resource, or a fresh vegetable for someone in need. There are many ways to support VEGI- from lending a hand in the community garden to planting a seed with a child to offering financial donations, however, big or small- as it takes a community to raise a garden. VEGI is grateful for those who continue to make this work thrive and would like to acknowledge the spirit of giving that makes it all possible.

VEGI meets community need through the platform of gardening and nutrition education. VEGI offers youth, adults, and families in-garden educational opportunities while producing healthy foods to benefit the San Luis Valley community. VEGI is a collaborative initiative in that much of the program is paired in partnership with local schools, other area non-profits, and community members to provide hands-on education in schools and local established garden beds. 100% of the food grown within VEGI gardens is donated back to the community. VEGI garden locations:

Boyd Community Garden 

Located at the corner of 11th Street and State Avenue in Alamosa, CO, this neighborhood garden provides fresh produce for La Puente’s Food Bank Network, as well as to the community members who work hard to keep it growing. Boyd is a community food-growing-and-sharing space where anyone is welcome to tend to the garden at their leisure; if you would like to join the VEGI team, community garden nights occur every Tuesday (May-October) from 5-7pm.

Alamosa Elementary School

Garden Located on the school’s property at 1709 W 10th Street in Alamosa, CO, this garden is used as a classroom where K-5 students engage all of their senses to bring subjects like science, language arts, and math to life. We currently provide classroom and garden-based lessons for K-5 students in Alamosa during the school year in partnership with the Alamosa Elementary School. La Puente Home Grow Dome Located behind La Puente’s Crisis Prevention Resources building, this garden provides fresh vegetables (year-round) for meals served at the homeless shelter.

Alamosa Elementary Garden: This garden is located at 1709 W 10th Street. This garden is used as a classroom where K-5 students engage all of their senses to bring subjects like science, language arts, and math to life.

La Puente Home Grow Dome: This year-round garden provides fresh vegetables for meals at the homeless shelter and can be found behind our Outreach Services building. make community gardening a success in the Valley!

Make a Donation
VEGI can always use your support. Donations of time, garden materials, and financial contributions are all greatly appreciated!

Teach a Lesson!
If you are passionate about gardening and would like to share your knowledge, please contact us about ways to get involved in our educational programming.

Volunteer!
One of the easiest ways to get involved with the VEGI program is to adopt a bed! By adopting a bed you take responsibility for 1 of 20 beds in the Boyd Garden and help keep our garden productive and beautiful! We can also always use helping hands for planting, weeding, watering, and maintenance.

If you are interested in volunteering with VEGI, please call La Puente’s Volunteer Coordination office at 719-587-3499.

In partnership with local school and kid’s clubs, VEGI offers dynamic summer programming, giving youth the chance to dig their hands in the soil, harvest what they have planted, and learn through community the process of growing and preparing healthful foods.

VEGI recognizes each of its supporters and is appreciative of the combined effort it takes to address the “root” causes of local food insecurity. Every dollar donated helps plant a seed that can then flourish into an educational opportunity, a gardening resource, or a fresh vegetable for someone in need. There are many ways to support VEGI–from lending a hand in the community garden to planting a seed with a child to offering financial donations, however, big or small- as it takes a community to raise a garden. VEGI is grateful for those who continue to make this work thrive and would like to acknowledge the spirit of giving that makes it all possible.

Services

we offer multi-tiered support
Food Access

Food Access

Nutrition Education

Nutrition Education

Gardening Opportunities

Gardening Opportunities

Building Community

Building Community