ROCK HILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – “I’ve got to paint around that,” pointed Jonathan Nazeer.
No, it’s not the final touches, but rather it’s just the beginning.
“Right now, we’re trying to get this place looking like it should look,” said Nazeer.
There’s a lot of work for Jonathan to do.
Nazeer’s the founder and CEO of Victory Gardens International; they’re turning an old building in Rock Hill into a community food stand.
It’s on the south side of Rock Hill, an area that’s long been overlooked.
“It’s frustrating because of the type of work we’re trying to do to the community and give back to the community,” said Jonathan.
This past summer, they started a community garden on the old tennis court near the food stand. They also just built a greenhouse to grow produce for the food stand.
“I know people thought we were crazy when we said we’re putting a garden on top of an underutilized tennis court,” said Jonathan.
But before they could really get going, something happened.
“I looked up on our shelves and realized there were boxes of our cords missing,” said Jonathan.
Their power chords are gone.
The generator they were using to power the greenhouse — also gone.
Over $5,000 work of equipment was stolen sometime during the week after Thanksgiving.
“We are still trying to figure out how they got it, but we realized they cut through one of our fences to get it out,” said Jonathan.
There’s a small cut in the plastic near where the generator was. Since the cut is in the middle of the plastic, they’ll have to replace a large section of the greenhouse. It’s an expense they weren’t planning on.
“For us, it’s kind of been two steps forward, one step back kind of deal,” said Jonathan.
It’s disheartening, to be sure, especially since the work keeps piling on.
“We’re doing a little bit of construction on the outside, but that won’t start until January,” said Jonathan.
But he’s still hopeful that they’ll still be up and running in February despite the challenges.
“That’s a part of this work that we do; there has to be a level of optimism,” said Jonathan.