Melvin and Margaret's
Who We Serve
Mel and Margaret's Garden is an area of land in the SRYC, used in the vocational training program. Application of this land in the program, enables women to have a successful home based means of support, as well as direct access to good nutrition for their families.
The garden enables the vocational training center to implement a complete program for the widows, and the education of primary and secondary school students. By using the garden, widows practice the techniques, agricultural for small scale profitable nutritious produce, learned during the lecture. Additionally, much of the fresh produce by Solid Rock Youth Complex is produced on site.
Mel and Margaret's Garden
is named in honor of Melvin Hansen and his wife Margaret, of Stockton, California, who for years have continued to serve as the fountain of Seeds of Hope. This project has supplied free seeds to poor communities in countries all over the world, allowing them to eat and encouraging them to eat healthier diets.
Mel Hansen, a Nebraska native who now lives in Stockton, California, has a long standing interest in alleviating hunger. He retired in 1992 after a 30 year career in agriculture and the vegetable seed business. Mel initiated Seeds of Hope in 1993 as part of an international project of the North Stockton Rotary Club. Since its beginning the project has shipped more than one million packets of vegetable seed around the world. This humanitarian project has worked closely with Rotarians, Peace Corps volunteers, international nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens striving to reduce hunger worldwide.
A few countries that have benefited from this project include El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Seeds of Hope has been a major supporter of Programa Escuelas Saludables (Healthy Schools Program) in Honduras. About 1000 school gardens have been established in the public school system as a result of this program. It is estimated that 150,000 school children are now eating fresh vegetables as part of their daily diet.
Another major benefactor has been Dr. Joyce Hightower and her “War on Hunger” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local people throughout the world have been able to work together, establish community gardens, and feed their families, especially children. Many thousands of poor, hungry people have been beneficiaries of this humanitarian project.