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Thriving Apalachicola community garden plagued by repeated thefts

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 18:00:56-04

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WTXL) — A group of Apalachicola gardeners say they have a thief in their neighborhood.

The community garden was suppose to help families save money and a trip to the grocery store. Now, they're left wondering who's taking their food.

"Whole plants taken," said Sabrina Fornes, one of the neighborhood gardeners. "Not just the fruits and the vegetables, the whole plant."

Sabrina Fornes is one of about 40 gardeners who have plants growing at the Apalachicola Community Garden.

She says somebody's been taking cucumbers, okra and peppers from the gardens they've been working years to perfect.

"One gardener has had 14 total plants stolen this year," said Fornes. "That's a huge amount."

Fornes says the person is taking more from them than just their food.

"It just provides therapy for all of the gardeners here," said Fornes.

While it's unclear why or who is taking the food, Franklin's Promise Coalition wants people to know there's help if they need it.

Thursday, National Guard troops help bring food to Franklin County High School. The group will give away food in both Eastpoint and Apalachicola on Friday and next week.

"Resources are available," said Joe Taylor, the executive director at Franklin's Promise Coalition. "They are for everyone. Everyone's been impacted, it's not about finances necessarily."

As for the gardeners, they are taking steps to protect what's theirs by putting up cameras in hopes of stopping whoever is doing this.

"We don't want to prosecute anybody. We would just like for them to stop," said Fornes.

If you're homebound and need help getting food, Franklin's Promise Coalition has a program for that, too.

For more information, click here.