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Tami Hendrix may have a full-time job running her gift shop, Meg's Gifts, LLC in High Point, but she also makes use of her free time by planting a garden full of fresh vegetables.

The garden is so full, in fact, that she has been donating her excess produce daily to the Open Door Shelter. And now, she's hoping others will join in her efforts through her Meg's Grow to Give – a campaign she recently began to help feed the community.

The idea for the campaign came from her family's experience with their own garden. "Last year, we planted a garden on some nearby land we own," Hendrix says. "It was not a large garden by any means, but we were able to plant lots of different vegetables. When it started producing, we quickly realized that we wouldn't be able to eat it all, so we began taking the excess produce to the Open Door Shelter. There, they prepare meals, as well as give it away to hungry people."

Hendrix says on one occasion when her family was delivering food to the shelter, a man approached them and asked if they needed help carrying the bags inside.

"We gladly accepted his help," she says. "When he picked up a bag to carry, he looked at the vegetables. It was then that he asked if he could have a cucumber. He explained that he had missed breakfast that day and was hungry. Of course we said yes. He took it out of the bag and began eating it on the spot – peel, stem and all. ... For me, that was a very poignant moment."

That moment made her realize how great a need there is for garden produce – people in need don't often have access to fresh vegetables, she says.

"If our small garden produced so much excess produce, others most likely will, too," Hendrix says. "It dawned on us that this is something the community could participate in on a larger scale, thereby helping many, many people who greatly need food."

So now, she says Meg's is challenging the community to reach out and help by bringing any excess garden produce they have to the gift shop. From there, Hendrix will deliver the produce to the Open Door Shelter every day.

She says her efforts will continue as long as the community brings produce to the shop. "This is about our community taking help to the next level," Hendrix says. "It is a simple concept with huge potential to help those in need. And we don't need to look any further than our own gardens to see that we always have something to share with another human being."

Those interested in volunteering to help in the campaign – helping pick produce, delivering, etc. – should contact Tami Hendrix at 336-886-6347. To make fresh produce donations, visit Meg's Gifts during store hours, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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