One of the ways the Amherst Garden Club gives back to the community is by providing flowers for the dining room tables at New Horizons Soup Kitchen in Manchester.
The club first started providing flowers to the Soup Kitchen in the late nineties when club member Gertrude Martin approached the board and membership to see if we would be interested in brightening the day of those who attended the Soup Kitchen at New Horizons in Manchester as part of the club’s outreach to the local community. Gertrude spent many hours volunteering at the Soup Kitchen as well as at the Woman’s Prison in Manchester. She suggested we do floral arrangements on the tables, and it was approved! In the beginning many of the flowers were cut from members’ gardens, or their neighbors’! During the months when we didn’t have our own flowers to pick, they were purchased, usually at a reduced rate, at one of the local florists. Members signed up up to go two at a time, twice a month. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and the feedback was always so positive. It truly did brighten the tables in the eating area! Gertrude eventually moved away, but the outreach continues, to her great satisfaction.
Today, members of the AGC still service the New Horizons Soup Kitchen in Manchester in a similar way as in the past. We have two members who, once a month supply flowers for the dining room tables. However today we use both fresh flowers and hand-made paper flowers for our arrangements. The people at the Soup Kitchen are still always happy to see us coming in the door with new flowers each month. They really do make a difference.