Encourage, educate, and equip are the pillars of Joplin's watered gardens gospel rescue mission.

“We can't always be the one who has giving to the one who doesn't. But we need to realize that other people have gifts, skills, and talents. And entering into a partnership with them and exchange is very important to esteem that individual correctly,” says James Whitford, Director of Watered Gardens.

He houses forty six homeless men and women, making them earn their keep by putting them to work in their Worth-shop.

Residents make jewelry, do common handy work, and cook daily meals in their kitchen.

“It makes me feel really good. It makes me give back to the community. You know they're helping me, so I want to help them back," says Pantry Chef Randy Hahn.

Hahn graduated from culinary school, but after a rough patch he now enjoys working at the mission.

“Great and everything. You know when I was in the kitchen everybody listened to me, but this time I'm working with great women. They're my boss so I listen to them."

The mission provides hundreds of homeless families with food baskets with enough food to last them for two weeks.

With the coming winter months, the food pantry needs basic items like protein packed peanut butter and canned soup to keep warm.

Hardy beans and Mac n' Cheese are also much needed staples.

Watered Gardens feels if food pantries are well stocked they can become an alternative for food stamps.

“We feel like it's really important for a community to figure out how to care for its own apart from so much federal and government money. So to have a really outfitted and beefed up food pantry is very important,” says Whitford.

In Joplin Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM NEWS
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