News

Hope of the Harvest charitable garden kicks off summer 2014 volunteer season

May 13, 2014

Hope of the Harvest

Those looking to make a difference for Bucks County families in need- who don’t know where their next meal may come from- are invited to volunteer for Hope of the Harvest, a charitable garden that uses Delaware Valley College land. The Kick-off will be Tuesday, May 20 at 8:15 a.m. Guests will meet at The Market on campus (2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown, Pa.) for announcements and an overview of the project. Then, weather permitting the group will head out to the garden’s main campus section to prepare the fields for the summer harvest from about 9 a.m. to noon. The main campus section of the garden is a short walk from The Market and volunteers will direct guests to the garden.

Hope of the Harvest was founded in 2012 and is a partnership between Delaware Valley College, Bucks County Opportunity Council, Philabundance and the United Way of Bucks County.  In its inaugural year, it produced nearly 16, 000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit, which the Opportunity Council and Philabundance distributed to area pantries. In 2013, the project tripled in size to three acres, which are split between the Roth Center for Sustainable Agriculture in North Wales, Pa., and the College’s main campus in Doylestown, Pa. The additional land increased the output of lettuce, cantaloupes, sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes to 35,498 pounds of produce. Grants from The Land O’Lakes Foundation and The Reinvestment Fund are helping the project produce more food each year. The long-term goal is to produce 100,000 pounds of food per year by 2017.

The Opportunity Council’s FaNN, the county’s lead emergency food provider, has distributed over 1.2 million meals to Bucks County families in the past two years, and the Charitable Garden has provided a consistent and sustainable way to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables to families that are hungry.

“The charitable garden is essential to making sure families in need have access to food that is fresh and healthy,” said Eileen Albillar, volunteer and community connections manager with the Opportunity Council. “The Opportunity Council, Delaware Valley College, Philabundance, and the United Way of Bucks County are doing everything they can to bring nutritious food to local families, and the volunteers provide critical support to the mission.” 

How to Help:
Join us for the kickoff on Tuesday, May 20 at The Market on Delaware Valley College’s campus at 8:15 a.m. and sign up to volunteer this season. Volunteers are needed one or two days each week from now through the end of September for weeding, staking, harvesting and packing produce. Groups are welcome. Those who can’t make the kickoff are still welcome to sign up. For more information, or to sign up your group, please contact Eileen Albillar – ealbillar@bcoc.org or 215-345-8175 extension 209, or visit bcoc.org.