In the midst of a pandemic, the effects of which can leave people feeling isolated and alone, Santa Barbara church has continued to minister to its church members and neighbors through its community garden. Though the community garden at Santa Barbara church is not new, there has been an increase in engagement with the garden throughout the pandemic. Many residents of Santa Barbara do not have adequate space for their own gardens. With the mental and physical health benefits of gardening, the community garden has been a way for people to combat feelings of loneliness and remain connected to one another.
“A lot of people miss fellowship with others,” Shannon Gott, member of Santa Barbara church and coordinator of the community garden, said. “You see people talking with one another while keeping their distance, being able to be outside and get fresh air, and building relationships. It’s been a benefit, especially during COVID-19.”
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