Veggie gardens help asylum seekers

    Western suburbs residents are banding together to help asylum seekers sow the seeds of a better life.

    In just a few weeks, The Veggie Wagon, an offshoot of the grassroots West Welcome Wagon, has helped set up three asylum-seeker households with vegie gardens.

    WWW vice-president and Newport resident Marnie Kelly said asylum seekers often lived in areas without adequate public transport, making access to fresh food challenging.

    “They are also surviving on very limited incomes, which puts items like herbs and some fruit and vegies out of financial reach.”

    Over the past 18 months, several asylum- seeker households have been supported by WWW to start their own vegie gardens.

    Ms Kelly said this had had a profound effect on food budgets, as well as self-esteem and overall self-sufficiency.

    Each household receives basic garden tools – shovels, rakes and hoses, along with fertiliser, pots and seedlings.

    The project, supported by donations, is also aimed at strengthening community ties.

    “My goal is to help set up one vegie garden a week and provide ongoing guidance to those who need it,” Ms Kelly said.

    “The response has been fantastic; we have almost 100 members of the group in just a few weeks.”

    Residents and businesses can become involved through Facebook. Details:

    Benjamin Millar