SERVE is on the hunt for green thumbs and strong backs.
The service organization is in need of volunteers to help with landscaping, planting and maintaining its community garden, which Callaway Action Network program assistant Katie Davis said is a vital part of the food pantry every summer.
"It does definitely play a role in increasing the amount of fresh produce we can offer. There's a big focus on providing more nutritious food ... this is one way to do it economically," Davis said.
Callaway Action Network Director Julie Roark noted that produce generated by the SERVE garden sometimes "can be the difference between having food to give out and not having food to give out."
Davis said she plans to plant a wide variety of fruits and vegetables this year, everything from honeydew melons and cantaloupe to broccoli, potatoes and cucumbers.
Right now, Davis said she needs volunteers to help with light landscaping and planting - tasks she and a few young helpers were working on Thursday afternoon. She said SERVE is still accepting donations of seeds, plants and gardening tools as well.
"We have had a lot of donations so far, which is awesome - Westlakes has given us a lot of stuff," Davis said. "We could still use seeds, plants, equipment, mulch, weed killer - anything you need for a garden."
Her helpers Thursday afternoon said they have enjoyed helping get the garden started.
"I'm here because Katie asked me to and I like helping and gardening," said Tanner Bowser, 13. "I like getting dirty - I love dirt."
Tanner said the SERVE garden is important because "nothing beats fresh vegetables."
"Everything's better fresh and not served up in a can," he said.
Freddy Davis, 13, said he also liked helping and was working on the garden because "it would save them a lot of money."
"I really wanted to get involved and just help out in the community," Freddy said.
Ten-year-old Carson Davis said he was motivated by the impact the garden will have on the food pantry.
"I like it because they get more produce so they don't go low in the food pantry," Carson said. "It just really helps our community because some people can't afford just regular groceries. If we had more people (helping) I think we could really make an impact on SERVE."
Anyone interested in volunteering at the SERVE garden can call Roark or Davis at (573) 642-6388.
Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.