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More than 20 years ago, two mothers met regularly with their developmental pediatrician to find ways to help their children with autism. That was the beginning of Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). The center’s programs, services and research help autistic individuals of all ages develop skills to help them engage in the community and live independent lives. On a yearly average, SARRC supports 1,000 children, teens and adults gain skills and confidence.

For their adult clients, SARRC’s Beneficial Beans social enterprise program was formed and began a community garden. The Beneficial Beans Garden serves as an internship site where clients participate in a 12-week pre-
employment program within the urban garden, learning valuable skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Beneficial Beans offers The Community Supportive Architectural Program, CSAP, where the public can support the program by enrolling to receive a weekly bag of seasonal produce from the community garden. An online store also offers its signature coffee beans, mugs, T-shirts, planters, water bottles and eggs, and 100 percent of the money is put back into SARRC.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and, on April 26, the organization will celebrate its 20th Annual Community Breakfast.

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