K of C offering seeds in exchange for food donations

K of C offering seeds in exchange for food donations

Sen. Thomas Paolino, Daniel Rageotte and Raymond Hedenskog deliver donated goods to St. James Church, collected by the Knights of Columbus Lincoln Council. Donations are accepted every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

LINCOLN – The food drive kicked off by members of the Lincoln Council Knights of Columbus at the start of the coronavirus pandemic is now offering free seeds to those who donate nonperishable food items.

Thanks to a donation to the Lincoln Community Garden from Cumberland’s Franklin Farm via the University of Rhode Island, those who bring food or cash during the collection time may choose from stacks of seeds available to them.

The effort, nicknamed Victory Gardens, encourages families to begin their own garden at home as a thank you for their donation.

The food drive began six weeks ago to help struggling community organizations feed those in need. Donations are accepted every Friday at 171 Jenckes Hill Road from 4 to 6 p.m.

This week members brought donated items to several community organizations including Lincoln’s St. James Church, the St. Edward Food Center and The DaVinci Center in Providence.

“All are in dire need of food,” said Tom Rossi, a member of the Council and organizer of Lincoln’s Community Garden who has helped coordinate the effort. “This is new to us. We’ve only made a couple of drops now but it’s really starting to get going.”

Grand Knight Raymond Hedenskog agreed, saying, “We’re in our sixth week now and it’s taken a lot of pushing to get it done, but it’s been working.”

Under normal circumstances the Columbus Club opens its building free of charge for community groups including veterans, police and fire organizations, Scouts, little league and bereavements.

“We don’t profit from it,” Hedenskog said. Unable to open the building for gatherings during COVID-19, he said, “If we’re not doing anything else, we need to be doing this drive.”

He thanked members of the community who have donated so far, including those who have returned for several weeks in a row.

In the past ten days, Rossi said they’ve given out 225 seed packages to 69 donors, with many more to spare. If they’re able, Rossi said families plan to bring some of their harvest back to donate.

“Sometimes positive things come out of a crisis, and this effort has been one of this things,” he said.