ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– Carilion Hospice now has a new program for patients. According to Sue Huntington, Volunteer Coordinator, a hospice social worker donated three community garden plots to start the Carilion Patient Garden.

“So, we have hospice volunteers that tend the garden beds, plant the plants, harvest the produce and then other volunteers deliver that produce to our hospice patients,” said Huntington.

In the summer volunteers planted a number of vegetables, including yellow squash, zucchini, corn, cucumbers, and different tomatoes. For their fall garden they planted cabbage, kale, radishes, beet, carrots and spinach, just to name a few.

“You know, it’s something that really brings a lot of pleasure to our patients and their caregivers. It’s something extra that we can offer them at a really tender time in their life and in their journey. It’s something our volunteers that maybe are amateur gardeners or love gardening can do to really contribute to our program and to our families,” said Huntington. 

Alan Mabry is a Clinical Team lead with Carilion Hospice. He said programs like the patient garden speak to the philosophy of Carilion. They are always searching for better ideas.

“I think the take away for them is ‘Hey, there is so much more to hospice than we realized’ and the fact that they are feeling the love. They are feeling the love. ‘Hey I can get my vegetables from hospice’ and I think it just shows them that hospice is much bigger than just a nurse or a social worker or a doctor coming to see them,” said Mabry.

Another big part of hospice is the volunteers. If you’re looking for an opportunity to give of your time click here.