"We're in the middle of a food desert in the East End," Simpson said. "There is no grocery store at all . . . People can go to a gas station or the dollar store to get milk and processed food."
That's why Simpson sees the community garden initiative as being so important.
"This is about people's health," she said.
And it's especially important in the city's East End, where there are about 6,000 people living between Leon Sullivan Way and the Capitol who are classified as being low income.
Many of those individuals also can't afford a car, making the trip to grocery stores on the West Side and in Kanawha City difficult, she said.
This year's yield from the community garden was not as good as last because of the dry weather, but the garden still has produced about 2,500 pounds of produce so far.
Even now, fall crops like cabbage and kale continue to grow.
Last year the garden produced about 3,000 pounds of produce.
There is no water hookup close to the community garden, so volunteers must haul water from Manna Meal in downtown Charleston, Simpson said.
She hopes to have enough money raised by the next growing season to pay for a water hookup at the garden.
Manna Meal is also always in need of volunteers to help in the community garden. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Manna Meal at 304-345-7121.