ZF Volunteer Group was recognized by the Food Bank of Delaware recently for their work at the Food Bank garden.
By Christine Evans, Community Outreach Coordinator
Fresh produce is one of the most needed and most distributed food categories at the Food Bank of Delaware. Through the Plant a Row program, members of our community grow produce in their gardens to be donated to hungry Delawareans.
This growing season we decided to create our own Plant a Row garden with the help of another non-profit in our community. Since June, members of the Zakat Foundation have been tending to our garden located in the front yard of our Newark warehouse.
In 2011, the Chicago-based Zakat Foundation opened a new branch in Newark, Delaware because of Newark’s proximity to major metropolitan areas. Their mission focused on alleviating the immediate needs of poor communities and establishing long-term development projects. This mission aligns very closely with our vision of a community free of hunger.
Although the Zakat Foundation is fairly new to the area, they were very eager to get involved with the Food Bank and our local community! Every week, they bring a group of school-aged children to learn about gardening and the workings of the FBD. The children have learned everything from sowing the seeds to harvesting the produce.
With their help and some guidance from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, our garden has produced more than 150 pounds! This year’s harvest included tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, radishes, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, onions, squash, cucumbers and a number of herbs. Many of the plants were donated by Northcreek Nursery in Landenberg, PA.
While much of the harvest is given directly to clients in need, the garden also provides our chefs with a bounty of herbs and produce that can be prepared by the students of The Culinary School. Most recently, The Culinary School used produce and herbs from the garden at the annual Evening in the Garden menu. Check out the pictures below and we even have one of Chef Mark preparing radishes from our own front yard! It doesn’t get much more local than that!