Non Profit Organization: McKinney Roots
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It must have been on Instagram where I first discovered McKinney Roots, the food donation garden dreamed up by three McKinney mamas looking for a way to serve the food insecure in McKinney. An invitation to visit one of their three home gardens in McKinney was extended after a quick PM, and I soon learned these women have big goals…and they aren’t afraid to reach them.

Taylor Stone, Michelle McCarley and Carissa Bleecker are the three McKinney women behind McKinney Roots. After Michelle visited a community garden in Denton last fall, she shared her experience with Taylor and Carissa and together they decided to create a food donation garden right here in McKinney. Did you know 10% of McKinney’s families struggle to provide meals for themselves? 9.8% of children in McKinney are below the poverty line, and 7600 children in McKinney qualify for free and reduced meal programs. This community garden can benefit so many! [SOURCE]

We really want McKinney to be excited about serving their community. --Carissa Bleecker… Click To Tweet

After receiving their 501C-3 license in January, the first decision to be made was where to plant. However, with the Texas spring quickly approaching, Taylor, Michelle and Carissa decided to begin planting at their own homes and tackle the land dilemma at a later date. The soil was tested for alkalinity levels and seeds were planted. With their first planting, McKinney Roots can serve the food insecure in McKinney tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, okra, leeks, corn, potatoes, green beans, carrots and a large variety of herbs. With 50 chickens between them, McKinney Roots is also able to donate farm fresh eggs to the families they serve.

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The plethora of organic, locally grown food is donated to The Samaritan Inn, Salvation Army, Shiloh’s Place and the Summer Feeding Program for Caldwell Elementary School established by The First United Methodist Church of McKinney. The latter operation is set up like a ‘little farmers market’: families can go from table to table stocking up on what dry goods look appealing. This type of set-up allows Taylor, Michelle and Carissa to suggest some of their healthy, organic produce to be added to a typical staple of rice or ramen soup. Taylor is most excited about this aspect of the job, “I like being able to suggest to our families combining cucumber with dill for a salad, or to sauté some vegetables to add to rice for a simple stir-fry.” It can’t help but bring a smile to your face when thinking of hungry families enjoying organic, locally grown produce. What a blessing!

 

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Besides being locally grown we want to be naturally grown. --Michelle McCarley #mckinneyroots… Click To Tweet

The future of McKinney Roots looks bright although with any new business, let alone a non-profit, there are always hurdles ahead. How to get the word out about fundraising, what if disease or bugs take down an entire crop for the year? How can they feed more people? Luckily, these women have a community like McKinney behind them full of servants and those looking to help. Here are a few ways you can help McKinney Roots:

*Consider purchasing some thing(s) from their Amazon Wish List as a donation to their cause.

*Consider making a charitable donation by visiting the McKinney Roots website.

When I initially interviewed Taylor, Michelle and Carissa they were still unsure of where they would find land to lease or purchase. Well, I am happy to report that prior to press date, 4 acres of land was secured to lease just north of Baylor Hospital in McKinney and will hopefully (cross your fingers!!) will be available for fall planting. Congratulations to McKinney Roots!

Their goal is to raise enough money to put 120 raised beds on the new land; each bed costs $40. Would it not be wonderful if we could get all 120 beds donated as a result of this article??  Please consider donating one or more raised beds to help feed the hungry in McKinney. And SHARE this article with ANYONE and EVERYONE who may be interested in helping!! Everyone who donates a raised bed receives a McKinney Roots t-shirt! For my birthday (today) The Art of Living Beautifully is donating 2 beds. How many can you donate?

To donate please click THIS LINK!

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Carissa, Michelle and Taylor

You can also find McKinney Roots harvesting in their gardens, sharing food with McKinney’s insecure and on their websiteFacebook and Instagram.

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