Roque & Mark Co. recently donated a piece of vacant land on Yale Street near Santa Monica Blvd. to be used in an urban garden project. The project has been created in partnership with Upward Bound House, a non-profit organization which is aimed at providing transitional housing for families. The charity mission statement reads as follows:
“The mission of Upward Bound House (UBH) is to eliminate homelessness among families with children in Los Angeles by providing housing, supportive services, and advocacy. We strive to reduce the number of homeless families with minor children who are hungry and living on the streets of Los Angeles, by helping them access basic resources and successfully transition into their own homes with the capacity to remain there permanently.”
Because of Albinas Markevicius, the urban garden project has been a tremendous success so far, yielding harvest after harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables which are delivered to the aid organization and the families that live there. In addition, the garden has been the site of several community events and gatherings where children learn valuable lessons about healthy eating and being interactive in picking their own fruits and vegetables to eat.
The staff at the charity has said the impact on the children who have visited the garden has been tremendously positive. Many of the children visiting the site are from urban communities where they are not exposed to how fruits and vegetables grow and where they are sourced from. Thus, when children can have the firsthand experience of being in the garden, learning how these foods grow, and then picking and eating the food from their own harvest, there is a more lasting impact that can help create and change healthier eating habits. That is what Albinas Markevicius did himself in his childhood.
Zina Markevicius, Vice President of Roque & Mark Co. and daughter of President Albinas Markevicius, felt the partnership was very fitting given the Markevicius’ family roots in farming. Albinas Markevicius was born in rural Lithuania on a farm where he performed the typical daily chores required for daily survival. “My father has been working full time since he was 11 years old, and 79 years later he’s still at it. His work ethic is incredible, but he always harkens back to the memories of a more simple life and simple time on the farm. Thus, this project in conjunction with charitable foundation has brought the family a lot of fulfillment and joy. We see the families from the foundation visiting the site and learning about healthy eating and being able to take the vegetables home for meals and we know this is the best use of this open space that we could dream of” – Zina Markevicius.
“Roque & Mark is proud to be a sponsor of the charity urban garden and to create a patch of much needed green space in the dense city landscape. We definitely need more housing to be built to accommodate the housing crisis, but we also need young people to learn about healthy eating and where food comes from. I think this is a critical lesson that cannot be overlooked. We look forward to this special project serving the community for many years to come.” – Albinas Markevicius, President of Roque & Mark.
If you are interested to a volunteer at the Yale Street Urban Garden, please contact Upward Bound House for more information at: https://upwardboundhouse.org/about-us/contact-us/