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Community Gardens in Riviera Beach growing healthy eating habits

'It has helped us tremendously in money savings and healthwise,' volunteer says
Posted at 10:02 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 23:52:29-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Delfina Danzique is picking some cherry red tomatoes from the 10th Street community garden in the Riviera Beach Heights neighborhood.

"We love the tomatoes. We make just plain tomato salads with the tomatoes and there are pigeon peas," she said.

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This isn't a one-sided deal for Danzique.

"Occasionally, we will volunteer here as well to take care of the garden, and when harvesting we do the labor, so we come and receive fresh fruit and vegetables," she said.

The city of Riviera Beach has six community gardens. Some nurseries are for teaching while others provide opportunities for residents who are stretching their dollars to make ends meet to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables.

Dennis Reichel manages the 10th Street garden.

"On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 11 to 1, we have an open house where people can come in and harvest their produce," he said.

According to the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, the 10th Street garden is within a designated food desert, an area with minimal access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods.

The garden provides for more than 500 households, 16 churches and two schools in Riviera Beach Heights.

"That's what keeps me here, keeps me going and that's why the garden is here," Reichel said.

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Of course, to maintain the plots the program is dependent upon volunteers like Sandy Thomas.

"I volunteer because I like to get out and get some fresh air and help the community," she said.

Danzique said the garden is a blessing.

"It has helped us tremendously in money savings and health wise," she said.

To become a Singer Island Community Garden volunteer, click here.