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Feed The Need Garden

"Ending Hunger Locally One Garden At A Time"



To end hunger locally by teaching those in need how to grow and preserve their own food.

What We Do & How We Help

We teach sustainable agriculture practices such as gardening, farming and food preservation. By offering hands-on educational classes we’re not just giving a hand-out but a hand-up. We help individuals and families in need, the homeless, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, soup kitchens, food banks, and other organizations currently helping those in need.

Did you know: If everyone reading this gave just $1/Day our program would be completely funded! Donate today and help us take a bite out of hunger! 100% of your donation goes back to the program. There are no paid salaries. Everyone volunteers their time!

Want to sponsor a garden for an organization or family in need. Visit our Sponsorship & Donation page to learn more!

Gardens not only grow fresh vegetables for those in need, but they double as horticulture therapy for the elderly and those in our community with mental or physical disabilities.

For more information, visit our Get Involved page, take a look at our sponsorship and donation opportunities, or contact us to see how you can help.

Our Story

We've loved every minute of our journey

Rachelle Roper, Founder and Proprietor

Rachelle Roper was born in Leesburg, FL in 1978 and was raised in the small town of Okahumpka, known for growing oranges, cattle and watermelon. She is the youngest of three children that grew up learning how to live off the land. Each year she helped plant, grow, harvest and preserve the family garden. She also helped raise various livestock and spent many hours hunting and fishing to help provide food for her family. As a young child she became involved in 4-H and raised cattle and swine that would be shown and sold in Lake and Orange County. Even as a child she knew the importance of helping others and would donate a portion of her earnings from her 4-H projects to feed families in need. She grew up working in a local feed mill and cattle ranch called Lashers and maintained several other jobs working in the agriculture industry while in high school.

Our First Employee

Rachelle graduated from Tavares Christian School in 1996 and began to pursue her degree in Animal Science. While in college she worked for a cattle company in Levy County. In 2001, she graduated from the University of Florida, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, with a Bachelor of Science degree. From there she went on to work as a Cattle Processing Foreman on one of the nation’s largest cow-calf operations. From there she pursued a career in Animal Health Sales and spent a number of years traveling and calling on Feed Stores, Pet Shops, Ranches and Veterinarians. In 2003, she married her college sweetheart and began to embark into parenthood.

An Idea is Born

After having their first child she felt that it was time to pursue a career that she could spend more time with her family. So they purchased a Christian bookstore in Ocala, FL. It was after purchasing the bookstore that she began to realize just how many children and families were going to bed hungry right here in Marion County. So she began to hand out non-perishable food from her store. But this didn’t seem like it was enough. She wanted to not just give a hand-out but a hand-up. It was time to make her dreams of teaching people how to grow their own food a reality and a few months later Feed the Need Garden was born. At first she was teaching gardening classes after hours from her bookstore but quickly ran out of room. Since then, she has closed her business to devote her time to the program and has acquired a permanent location to teach hands-on classes. She is invited regularly to speak and teach at various groups and organizations throughout the county. For Rachelle this has been a life long quest in which she has been training for her entire life. She is excited to share the knowledge that she has about growing your own food in hopes to end hunger locally. She believes that no one should have to go to bed hungry at night and with the proper training and tools we have the opportunity to make this happen.

Why I do feed the need, people stopped growing their food and stopped teaching their children to grow there own food. there is a disconnect between food and table. and a generational gap about this knowledge. People would tell me that if they were handed a pack of seeds they would not know what to do with it. so there was a big need to teaching people how to grow their own food. I grew up gardening and farming so i decided to share what i learned as a kid to show others.

Heart for educating families on growing

No one has to go to bed hungry at night.

We Won a $10,000 Grant from Aveeno

Be An Active Natural

and were able to expand our teaching farm and install our first Vertical Growing System !

Thank you to everyone that voted for us and made this possible.

You Voted & We won!

Thank you for your support!!