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United Tobacco Company fights hunger with vegetable garden

United Tobacco Company fights hunger with vegetable garden Posted Friday, June 10, 2016 9:20 pm By Olivia Neeley Times Staff Writer United Tobacco Company employees knew they wanted to take on a project that not only gave back to the Wilson community, but also helped those in need at the same time. A couple of months ago, they built four large raised garden beds and planted a variety of vegetables. And the garden has taken off, said Kathy Brown, controller at UTC, located on Stantonsburg Road. “Things are starting to bloom,” Brown said. “It’s absolutely gorgeous. We will have things to harvest soon.” UTC has partnered with Hope Station’s food pantry. Everything that’s grown will go directly to the nonprofit each week. “It will be a weekly thing as we get the different items harvested,” Brown said, adding that employees will deliver the vegetables. “The employees have been so excited about it.” Brown said they chose Hope Station after reading about the group’s work in The Wilson Times, including providing healthier options for clients who visit Hope Station’s food pantry each week. “We thought it would be great to contribute fresh vegetables with that,” Brown said. UTC employees are growing an array of veggies, including squash, radishes, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, carrots and a variety of bell peppers. They are also growing tomatoes and different types of spicy peppers as well as basil. “We are starting small,” Brown said. “We are trying to do it all organically, too.” The Rev. Linda Walling, Hope Station’s executive director, said she was excited when she received the call from Brown about the project. “With our recent conversion to a pantry in which clients make their own food choices, the

UTC Mission

The Mission of United Tobacco Company is to function as the vital link between the best tobacco growers in the world and the best manufacturers in the world. We aim to accomplish our mission by focusing on personal service to our customers; rewarding initiative and creativity; promoting the quality of our grower group; responding to social and environmental challenges; and positively impacting our community.