GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An urban garden in downtown Glens Falls maintains a lifeline for residents in need of fresh produce. Operated by a local mental health organization, the crops are getting some help growing this year, thanks to a program operated by an area grocery store chain.

Warren-Washington Association for Mental Health has been chosen as a beneficiary of the 2023 Bloomin’ 4 Good program, an initiative that cooperates with grocery store chains to give to community organizations through the sale of fresh flowers. The initiative will show up in the form of bouquets for sale at the Hudson Falls Hannaford, 3758 Burgoyne Ave., sold with special red circle stickers on their wrapping. For every so-marked bouquet sold, Hannaford will donate $1 to the WWAMH, to fund the urban community garden that operates at the East Side Center in Glens Falls.

“We actually applied for Hannaford’s reusable bag program, but then they chose us for this,” said Michele Morehouse, communications coordinator at WWAMH. “We thought because it had to do with flowers, it would be a great connection for us to make.”

The garden serves over 100 WWAMH clients every month. Some of those clients are residents of the East Side Center, or of the organization’s housing buildings on Maple and Cooper streets. The garden grows some flowers, but most importantly serves as a source of fresh produce for those who are helped by the center’s mental health and housing work. The food is also available to staff, and any leftover surplus goes to the Open Door Mission.

The money will fund the garden’s ability to grow. A garden specialist previously employed part-time at the center’s garden is now being switched to full-time, and has just embarked on the garden’s first winter of early planting, ahead of the spring.

Bloomin’ 4 Good is operated by PS IT MATTERS, an initiative that gives to communities and promotes reusable bag use through chains in many states. The organization runs programs through grocery stores including Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Big Y, and others.