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Seeds of Hope 

Community activist Duron L. Chavis builds ‘resiliency gardens’ to fight food insecurity in the city.

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Scott Elmquist

Duron L. Chavis may have lost his job due to COVID-19, but the man has not stopped working. “When stuff like this happens, I know how hard it is for folks to get food and eat healthy,” he says.

Chavis launched a fundraiser Wednesday to raise money for 1,300 bags of soil to create resiliency gardens around the city, in areas with high food insecurity. As of Friday, he had raised almost $8,000.

Those who would like 6-foot by 4-foot gardens put in place to grow their own food can request them at thenaturalfestival.com. A community activist with ample experience curating events and transforming green spaces, Chavis says pandemic or no, he was going to build these gardens.

“How do we meet the needs of the community in real time? This is something to work toward, to hope for,” he says. He’s especially cognizant of the people who cannot risk going out to the grocery store — even when standing 6 feet away from others — due to immune deficiencies. He wants to meet them where they are.

Resiliency garden volunteers drop off wood, then another team tackles building the box and filling it with soil, all while maintaining proper distance.

“We were doing this before the pandemic,” Chavis says of his efforts to bring food to people. “This is just a pivot.”

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