Garden might not survive after theft of equipment used to feed hundreds in Shawnee neighborhood

Church issues cry for help after theft of tools for community garden
A local church is putting out an urgent call to help save its ministry after thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen, possibly rendering a community garden useless.
A local church is putting out an urgent call to help save its ministry after thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen, possibly rendering a community garden useless. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A local church is putting out an urgent call to help save its ministry.

More than $10,000 worth of gardening supplies were stolen from The Spirit of Love Center in the Shawnee neighborhood last summer. Its community garden helps feed hundreds in need.

“We had about 500 tomato plants, 200 squash and 200 cucumber plants,” said B.J. Jones, the director of the Spirit of Love Center’s garden ministry. “We also had about 2,500 feet of green beans and a few different types of other vegetables.”

Jones said he’s lost his garden ministry, as well as his purpose.

“I’ve been growing a crop ever since I was a little boy in foster homes,” Jones said. “I would always have a garden.”

The theft took place in July. No arrests have been made.

"I realized that all of a sudden what I've been doing faithfully for the last six years has abruptly come to an end.” Jones said.

Jones and church members go door to door handing out boxes of organic vegetables with a love letter from God, as well as scriptures, to nearly 300 people a year who can’t get fresh food or a dose of faith on their own.

"Really it represents hope,” Jones said.

It’s been seven months, and none of the equipment has been returned. Jones said he needs to get to work so he can start planting in about 40 days.

“Despite the despair I felt initially, I live by faith,” he said.

Jones showed WAVE 3 News a list of stolen items, including five tillers, five lawn mowers, more than 30 gardening tools and more. He said if the equipment isn’t replaced, the garden will not survive.

To help the church replace the equipment, anyone can call the church at 502-775-5354.

On April 4, the church will host an Easter Egg Hunt and a 200 bike giveaway at the Academy of Shawnee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend the event.

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