By: Southern California Conference, and Adventist Review, courtesy Adventist Review

Amid a pandemic, the effects of which can leave people feeling isolated and alone, Santa Barbara Seventh-day Adventist Church in Santa Barbara, California, United States, has continued to minister to its church members and neighbors through its community garden.

Though the community garden at Santa Barbara church is not new, engagement with the garden has increased throughout the pandemic. Many residents of Santa Barbara do not have adequate space for their own gardens. With the mental and physical health benefits of gardening, the community garden has been a way for people to combat feelings of loneliness and remain connected.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in August 2020 found that 40 percent of adults surveyed reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. Symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased in the U.S. during April-June 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

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