KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City will have a lasting impact on the metro.
NFL Green focuses on environmental projects to incorporate in league events, like the draft.
This year, NFL Green is partnering with Kansas City Community Gardens, Verizon, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Mimi’s Pantry to plant an orchard of fruit trees.
“It was really important to us because it meant that what we’re doing here is showing others as big as the NFL Green Team the impact that we’re trying to make in our community,” Kelley Catterson, Executive Director of Mimi’s Pantry, said.
The orchard is located near Vivion Road in Riverside.
Volunteers planted more than 50 fruit trees, 4 bush cherries and nearly 100 feet of blackberry beds.
“It’s going to increase our ability to give more to our families, to serve more families because we’re going to have so much greater capacity,” Catterson said. “It’s going to be fresh right off the trees with a long shelf life which is really key when meeting some of the needs of our families.”
Fruit grown in the orchard will be available to the people Mimi’s Pantry helps. The pantry will also host free cooking workshops to teach people how to use the fruit.
Mimi’s Pantry works with low-income residents living in Clay and Platte Counties. The pantry says the orchard will increase the families it will be able to help.
“I think it’s part of being a good guest to the community, but it’s also part of our responsibility as citizens to try and green the world, to try and hold back climate change, to try and do whatever we can around sustainability and around the environment,” Jack Groh, NFL Green Director, said.
The orchard is one of four NFL Green projects for the community leading up to the NFL Draft later this month.