Shelly Claflin is passionate about community gardens as a way to help all communities have access to food and nutrition. Already managing two community gardens, Shelly began fielding lots of phone calls from people wanting help with starting a garden in their own neighborhood. So in 2010, she initiated the Greater Kalamazoo Garden Network to share information, support new gardeners getting started, and help gardeners help one another.
“We just want as many people involved in making sure that our community has more food, nutritious food, accessible to everybody,” says Shelly in an interview with WMUK public radio.
Today the network includes nearly 40 community food gardens in the Greater Kalamazoo area.
Shelly frequently brings groups together to problem solve. She approached Bread for the Journey of SW Michigan about a grant for a three-month facilitator training course at the Dorothy Johnson Center for Philanthropy in Grand Rapids, MI. Shelly needed to register soon before the class filled up. Though our chapter had nearly depleted our funds with three new grants, our board agreed that the course would really help Shelly do her good work in our community, and it would be well worth funding. Bread for the Journey of SW Michigan was pleased to grant Shelly $200, enough to cover the portion of the cost that Shelly had not been able to cover otherwise. She was very excited about the grant, and quickly registered for the course! We look forward to great results!