Thieves targeting free garden in Tampa's University area

Posted at 4:39 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 17:25:46-05

The Harvest Hope Community garden is seeing a lot of action, from thieves. But, the garden is free.

“They’re stealing the food because they’re hungry,” said garden director, Erica Nelson.

The University Area Community Development Corporation started the garden back in 2012, because the area is known as one of Tampa Bay’s food desserts.

“Think about if you live in this community it’s difficult for them to get to the grocery store,” said Nelson.

The garden has about 20 different organic vegetables and fruits, and it’s all free.

Officials believe some people probably didn’t realize that, and that’s why they broke the fence to get in.

“When you’re hungry you become more instinctual, and it’s really that survival mode of I need to eat in order to function,” said Nelson.

They’ve now put signs up on the fence to let people know the food inside is open to the public. The Garden is open every Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. You can sign-up online at: . You can also just show up. Volunteers are welcomed.