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Gardeners for the hungry

The Rev. William G. Chrystal and the 60-member congregation of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Adamstown, Md., last year took an acre of land set aside for a parking lot and turned it into a productive mini-farm that helped feed the poor and the out-of-work. That acre produced 3,000 pounds of corn and 80 bushels of potatoes, which went to food banks in the local area and in the nation's capital.

Buoyed by their success and the gratitude of those they helped, they are expanding to 11/2 acres this season. And they would like everyone else with a little land to do the same thing.

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``Backyard gardeners,'' says Mr. Chrystal, ``could add two rows of vegetables specifically for the local food bank.'' Churches, organizations, and companies with a little land could grow large gardens tended by their members or employees.

On a large scale this approach would have a dramatic impact on hunger in America, Mr. Chrystal points out. For this reason he would like every organization growing food for the needy to put up a sign stating what they are doing.

Raising people's consciousness about the need to tackle hunger is a big part of the job, he says, adding that helping the hungry ``is an obligation all of us have.''

If you would like to learn more about growing food for the hungry, write to Mr. Chrystal at Trinity United Church of Christ, 5603 Mountville Road, Adamstown, Md. 21701, or phone him at (301) 874-2210.

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