Just behind the Sonic and Eugene Field Elementary School in West Tulsa is 2232 S. Nogales St. It may sound like just another address, but lately it’s a place where miracles happen.
Ask any of the single mothers who usually catch a bus to shop for groceries, or 99 percent of the families whose children attend Eugene Field on the free or reduced lunch program. They’ll tell you amazing things are happening there, right around the corner from their growing government housing community.
Most families in this part of town can’t afford transportation. Buying food meant nearly a full day juggling the bus schedule, babies and young children. Fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by and fast, fried and greasy meals were the easiest find. Sometimes dinner meant eating lots of snack items from the neighborhood convenience store.
“Help, healing and healthy choices now abound, and it’s time to celebrate the change that has come to this neighborhood,” says Clark Millspaugh, executive director and founder of The Harvest. He and 11 other private investors contributed funds to purchase, gut, fully remodel and launch The Harvest, the nonprofit fresh food market and office complex that house the other organizations so desperately needed in this underserved community.
In the space that once housed two graffitied, metal, unused buildings came an answer to these problems and much needed help for an entire community. The Harvest is a two-building complex that offers educational experiences to students which complement the programs of the school and adult education programs including a teaching kitchen and upcoming sewing classes. It also houses an after-school program called Global Gardens whose primary goal is to establish student-centered garden spaces, where students and their families have ownership of the implementation, progress, maintenance and activities of the garden.
The south building also houses the not-for-profit fresh food market, which covers approximately 1,600 square feet. The market, called the Westside Harvest Market, meets the basic nutritional needs of the community. The food outlet operates within the larger community center.
“We’ve been mentoring and working with families in this community with our church,” says Millspaugh, a member of First United Methodist Church downtown, a Partner in Education to the nearby Eugene Field Elementary School.
For more information about The Harvest, e-mail: Clark Millspaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (918) 760-6219.