CANR, Food Bank bring harvest home
Students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware harvest potatoes from the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community.
Food Bank of Delaware volunteers bag fresh produce for distribution to needy families in the Bear area.


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9:38 a.m., Aug. 2, 2010----University of Delaware volunteers and students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware spent the morning of July 30 harvesting 1,305 pounds of fresh produce from UD's Garden for the Community.

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Once the workers finished harvesting, they loaded a food bank van and headed to Sparrow Run Park in Bear where they 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 one-third of an acre on the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources campus on South College Avenue.

"The college is excited to extend our cooperative activities with the Food Bank of Delaware through our new 'Harvest to Home' program,” said 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 the food bank's 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 the food bank's 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 Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO. “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.”

Evening in the Garden planned Aug. 12

To celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community, the Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware will hold the second annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 6-9 p.m.

The event will be held outside the garden. Tickets are $40 per person and the price includes dinner, wine and entertainment from Dodging Cupid. For more information or to attend the event, visit the Food Bank of Delaware website.

Photos courtesy the Food Bank of Delaware