By Kevin Crean, Communications Intern
As we all know, fruits and vegetables are a very important part of our daily diet. Unfortunately, for many families across the state, accessing produce proves to be difficult. Thanks to our partnership with Penn Farm and other local farmers, that will hopefully change.
According to Delaware Greenway’s website, “the Historic Penn Farm is a 310 year old, 112-acre private urban land trust of the Trustees of the New Castle Common, managed by Delaware Greenways, Inc.”
In addition to the plot of land tended by volunteers and staff from the Food Bank, William Penn High School students also have a plot of land that they tend to.
According to Dan Reyes, Coalition to End Hunger Coordinator here at the Food Bank, the main goal of Penn Farm is to “improve and increase role of produce in distribution.” He adds that the Food Bank is working to create dynamic, sustainable partnerships with food pantries in the area by donating fresh produce grown on the farm.
Operations at Penn Farm are currently in their first year. The farm is modeled after a program at the Chester County Food Bank, where their main focus is getting fresh produce out into the community.
Our plot of land consists of many different types of produce, including cabbage, kale, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet potatoes, beets, watermelon and cucumbers. All of the work is done by a team of volunteers and our Agriculture Intern, Sara Somers. Last week alone, volunteers harvested 125 pounds of cabbage and kale. Peppers will be ready next for harvesting.
The produce grown at Penn Farm is helping us gain experience in storing our own produce, as well as providing Delawareans in need the opportunity to receive fresh, locally-grown produce. This farm helps us, as well as community members, think about hunger on a larger scale and how it is connected with farming and agriculture. Concepts like Penn Farm and community produce donations
really do help in improving the healthy diets of those in need.