Sharon Begnaud, coordinator at the Giving Field in Beaumont, was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Neches River Festival during a ceremony at the MCM Elegante in Beaumont on March 30.
“The Giving Field was created as a donation garden to provide fresh food for the hungry. As of today, it has produced over 29,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables which has been used to feed hungry people,” said Neches River Festival president Chris Miller.
“People of all ages, religions and races come together to work in the dirt and experience the exhilaration of seeing seeds grow into plants that produce such extraordinary bounty creating a community of understanding , respect and appreciation for one another,” Miller said.
“The process of growing those fresh fruits and vegetables along with her leadership has provided tremendous educational opportunities for hundreds of people of all ages,” Miller said of Begnaud.
Begnaud thanked Mary Mahlie, Msgr. William Manger, pastor at St. Anne, St. Anne Church, St. Anne Catholic School and the many volunteers who have helped with The Giving Field.
“It’s such a shame that you have to pay more for a plate of fruits and vegetables than for a plate of fried fast food,” Begnaud said.
“We need to take note of that and we need to do something about that. And education is a huge part of it.’ she said. “We have to make a difference. And the kids at St. Anne, and the volunteers who come out are doing that.”