Steelworker retirees lead cleanup of community garden, plan to provide fresh vegetables to the homebound

WORKING AT THE COMMUNITY GARDEN were (from left), United Steelworkers Local 1899 retiree Doug May, Eadie Schillinger, a master gardener with the University of Illinois Extension service and USW Local 1063 member Verncell Rogers, joined by helper Kyli Ballentine. – Labor Tribune photo

Illinois Correspondent

IBEW LOCAL 1439’S Anne Smith (left) helped pick up trash with Chris Sedabres (center), pastor of the nearby 2nd Baptist Church, and United Steelworkers Local 30 retiree Ron Stone. – Labor Tribune photo

Granite City – Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Chapter 7-34-2 hosted a community cleanup day here last month in the area around the Community Garden at 2nd Baptist Church, 2115 Missouri Ave., as part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee MLK National Day of Service.

More than 30 retirees, union workers and friends worked clearing trash out of the garden, its compost box and the surrounding neighborhood despite a chilly morning. The city provided a truck to haul the refuse away.

SOAR CHAPTER PRESIDENT JEFF RAINS (left) helps SOAR Vice President Dennis Barker clear trash off a residential lot. – Labor Tribune photo

This spring, SOAR and other groups will work the garden so the Community Care Center can provide fresh vegetables for housebound and underserved residents of Granite City, Venice and Madison.

“This collective effort will be providing healthy food assistance to hundreds of families in need,” said Jeff Rains, SOAR chapter president. “Vegetable baskets will also be transported by volunteers to the elderly, individuals with disabilities and no transportation, single parents and pregnant women – anyone who is housebound.”

For more information about the effort, or to participate, contact Rains at 618-979-4253.



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