Our Culinary School students and volunteers from the University of Delaware spent the morning harvesting 1,305 pounds of fresh produce from the Garden for the Community! Once they finished harvesting, they loaded one of our vans and headed to Sparrow Run Park in Bear where students and FBD staff distributed fresh produce, 30-pound meal boxes, chicken and other food items to 715 individuals.
Families received potatoes, okra, sweet corn, eggplant, peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil fresh from the University’s Garden for the Community. The garden is located on a third of an acre on the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) campus.
“The CANR is excited to extend our cooperative activities with the Food Bank of Delaware through our new “Harvest to Home” program,” said Dr. Tom Sims, CANR Deputy Dean. “Working with the food bank’s mobile pantry allows us to deliver fresh, locally grown vegetables from the Garden for the Community directly to local communities in need.”
“Each year, the goal at the Garden for the Community at the University of Delaware CANR is to grow as much fresh produce as possible for local people in need,” said Dan Ford. “As a student intern for the project, I have learned about very specific details of vegetable production like planting dates of different crops, the relation of weed control to harvest intervals, and Integrated Pest Management tactics. But overall, I have learned to connect these details to the big picture: the use of sustainable agricultural practices to help the less fortunate people in our state.”
“It was great getting dirty this morning to help gather food for our struggling neighbors in need,” said Celeste Davis a student at our Culinary School. “It’s really rewarding to see how the food bank works to alleviate hunger – from sourcing food to distributing it – I was glad to help out.”
Through our mobile pantry program, a food bank truck travels to an underserved area during hours when clients find it easier to receive assistance. Thirty-pound meal boxes filled with enough nutritious food to feed four people for up to five meals are distributed.
“One of our focuses is to get fresh, nutritious foods out to those who need it most,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are incredibly fortunate to have a steady stream of fresh, locally-grown produce from the University of Delaware Garden for the Community. Because of the garden and other local partners we are able to provide families with healthy foods that they otherwise may not be able to afford.”
To celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community, we will hold our second annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, August 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will be held outside the garden. Tickets are $40/person. The price includes dinner, wine and entertainment from Dodging Cupid. For more information or to attend the event, please visit www.fbd.org.