Baton Rouge churches help address hunger in the community _lowres

Photo provided by Church of the Way Presbyterian Church -- Orchard tender George Reeves, left, and orchard master Kane Mire work in the Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard that was planted March 21 on South Foster Drive. The orchard is a cooperative project to help feed the hungry.

Two Baton Rouge churches are putting their green thumbs to work to help feed the hungry here.

The Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard, which will allow those in need to pick fruit, was planted Saturday, March 21, on land adjacent to the church on South Foster Drive.

Some 20 citrus trees — two varieties of satsumas, two varieties of oranges, several pear and fig trees — were planted by church members and friends.

The project is a cooperative effort initiated by Church of the Way Presbyterian Church to address hunger in the community.

Pastor Ted Roeling said the LSU AgCenter Extension Service was the initial resource, with county agent Terrence Marshall and horticulture specialist Bob Souvestre evaluating the site and recommending types of trees. They also suggested the church partner with Baton Rouge Green.

Robert Seeman, program director of Baton Rouge Green, arranged for the trees to be unloaded on the site, where the church’s Witness and Service Committee, led by Jackie Barnett Cummings, coordinated and worked on the orchard.

Baton Rouge Green also unloaded citrus trees at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, at 9340 Florida Blvd., a sister church that became interested in the project through Church of the Way.

Church members, lead by Chairman Dale Tullier, plans to soon put the trees in the ground.

The fruit from the Broadmoor church’s orchard will go to Southeast Ministries, a branch of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank that feeds the hungry in southeast Baton Rouge. Trees at both churches were paid for by individuals in honor or in memory of loved ones.