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Benton Harbor community garden gets help to grow

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -

Emma Kinnard's idea for community gardens in the city is sprouting and now getting some major local backing. 

Lakeland Hospital has identified Benton Harbor as a food desert, one of the worst in the state. They believe Emma Kinnard's community gardens can help fix that.

You may remember Emma Kinnard. She's an outstanding woman we introduced you to back in 2016. What started out as one community garden on Pearl and May street has now expanded to three, with the work just beginning on a fourth yesterday. 

The last time we checked in with Kinnard, she was planning a garden on Ohio street. That is now fully operational and providing free fruits and veggies to the area's kids. 

Kinnard's goal is to have one in each ward of the city. Mercy Hospital has provided fencing. Numerous individuals have chipped in with donations. And the sunrise rotary has provided some backing. Now Lakeland wants to help expand this out further. 

"We want the children and the community to just come in and see what putting a little bit of love and care into what God gave us to be good stewards over," said Emma Kinnard of Fresh Start Community Gardens. "You can get such good benefits."

This all comes as the city of Benton Harbor is planning a farmers market in the heart of downtown. So far, Ms. Emma says there are no plans to join up with that. She just wants to keep the gardens free and as an education tool for area kids. This season, she will work with the Boys and Girls Club to provide programming and wants to bring in 4 chefs to teach kids how to cook what they grow. 

We'll be sure to keep you posted on how the gardens are blossoming. 

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