Remington Community Garden

Remington Community Garden

Remington, a small unincorporated town less than half a mile from Culpeper County, has 598 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. What it lacks in population, though, it makes up for with a caring, giving attitude.

Remington Little Free Pantry, Library and newly introduced Fridge provide a need to Remington residents and others by creating easily accessible food, books and now produce thanks to a grant from the PATH Foundation.

The property at 150 West Bowen Street, Remington was able to get electricity and buy a large, used, commercial refrigerator with the grant funds to house perishable food for those who may need a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk in a pinch.

“We were limited to the kinds of the things we could put in the Pantry,” said MaryBeth Waldeck, a facilitator of Remington Community Garden. “This is going to afford us the opportunity in the winter to put things in there that may otherwise freeze.”

Remington, Waldeck said, is considered a food desert.

A food desert is an area with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. A food oasis is an area with access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh food.

“There’s no grocery stores, just a small deli really and a couple of places to buy minimal groceries.”

The closest big box grocery store is 15 minutes away.

On Christmas, the Fridge officially opened to house fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and eggs.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Waldeck said. “Hopefully, it’s going to allow people to make donations directly into the refrigerator and then (give people) access to things that otherwise would not have been available to them.”

Remington Pantry, Library and Fridge are on the grounds of the Remington Community Garden. It is operated by Remington United Methodist Church.

The Garden first began as a way for residents to grow their own food in a community that doesn't have a lot of open space, Waldeck said. Plots are rented out to people on an annual basis.

“When the pandemic hit a few years ago now, we decided that we should devote part of the land there (to) growing vegetables for the community and we opened a Little Free Pantry.”

“The Pantry was extremely successful,” she continued. “We give away around 30 pounds of food every day.”

During the summer months, the Pantry can give away up to 80 pounds of fresh produce a day.

The operations, however, don’t work as a food bank where eligibility is required.

The Fridge joins other food pantries in town like the Culpeper Food Closet, which boasts an even bigger operation that gives away thousands of pounds of food every week.

A hurdle that both the Food Closet and the Fridge have seen is a lack of transportation. With a lack of private or public transport, those in need of food find it nearly impossible to get the services they require.

Despite hurdles, though, Remington always comes together to help their neighbor.

“The community of Remington has been incredibly supportive,” Waldeck said. “We have received really a 100 percent of the funding for the food pantry has been donations.”

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