Deacon Mary Sanders, Executive Director of Community Lutheran Partners, addressed the Tucker County Senior Citizens, Inc. Board Wednesday, May 31.
“Community Lutheran Partners is a ministry of the West Virginia, Western Maryland Senate,” Sanders said. “We serve all of West Virginia and Garrett County, Maryland. We don’t just serve Lutherans. We serve everybody in the senate and as a Deacon, my call is to service.”
Sanders said she was reaching out to area that may not be as aware of her organization. “As part of that, as part of the Director of Community Lutheran Partners also serving that call, I am trying to build my network of places that are in the senate and particularly places that maybe have not experienced CLP (Community Lutheran Partners) so much.
Sanders explained the mission of her organization to the board. “CLP deals with a lot of different issues, but mostly we’re know for disaster response which is good and right and will probably continue,” Sanders said. “But there’s also a lot of other things that actually contribute to disaster response. Things that need to be done in better weather. Disasters are not free standing issues. They’re connected to everything else. Disasters are always tied to something else. Something else can make a disaster worse, disaster always makes this other thing worse. And so, part of what CLP is doing now, what’s new with us is trying to help make communities more resilient, more prepared to deal with what could happen, what is happening, or what’s happening that we’re not terribly picking up on because there’s other big issues that we’re kind of dabbling in first.”
The food insecurity needs of the community were mentioned by Sanders. “So one of the things that I am really focusing right now is food insecurity,” Sanders said. “You all are feeding people here. You know that, you know what the food insecurity is in this community. You know that its an issue or you wouldn’t be feeding people. Of course, you’re also offering them community and relationship which is also very important. This is important to resiliency because we need to build those connections, build that network. Build that connection between one another in a community so that we are more resilient when something does happen and one of the easiest ways is through food.”
Sanders outlined her proposal to the board members as a community outreach and learning program. “Helping people become more resilient by offering them ideas and information so that they don’t necessarily have to depend on someone else for food. So what I would like to do is offer a series of workshops and programs over a couple of months, 6 to 8 months, on things like container growing, hydroponics, intensive gardening, things where you have a very small space or very limited space and you are trying to produce your own food. Enough food for yourself, but also for your neighbor or possibly even to sell at the farmers market in Davis.”
“For me to offer those workshops or have people come in to talk about this, I need space to do it,” Sanders said. “And I was wondering if you would be willing to offer your space to do this.”
Sanders said she is looking at grants to fund the program. Financial Officer Marelena Breschart also said that the program would fit in with the Senior’s existing funding well. The Board requested a plan be submitted and expressed interest in offering the program at both the Parsons and Thomas locations.
“I think it would be great to offer it to both locations if you’re up for doing that,” Breschart said. “ I would like to offer it to both.”
“I think it would be great too because you have a lot a young folks moving in from the city and they’ve never gardened, they’ve never canned, they’ve never done any of that,” Board President Kathy Thomas said.