Hope of the Harvest charitable garden receives $12,000
Sep 29, 2015
The United Way of Bucks County presented a $12,000 check to representatives from Hope of the Harvest, a charitable garden that uses Delaware Valley University’s land to grow food for people in need, on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The funding, which was raised by the United Way’s 2015 Bucks Knocks Out Hunger event, will help cover costs for the garden’s 2016 growing season. United Way of Bucks County President and CEO Jamie Haddon ’95 presented the check to DelVal’s Interim Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dr. Christopher Tipping.
“The United Way of Bucks County has really helped DelVal move the charitable garden forward,” said Dr. Tipping. “It has been a great relationship. The United Way’s support has helped us to produce more pounds of food for people in need. They have also helped with logistics and community awareness of the garden.”
Hope of the Harvest is a partnership between DelVal, Philabundance, the Bucks County Opportunity Council, The United Way of Bucks County, The Land O'Lakes Foundation, The Reinvestment Fund and The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation/ Pharo Family Fund. The project uses DelVal land to grow fresh, nutritious food for area food pantries. It was started in 2012 with one acre on DelVal’s main campus in Doylestown and has expanded to include more land. During the first year, the project produced about 16,000 pounds of produce for people in need in the area. Thanks to community support, the garden project now produces more than 60,000 pounds of produce per growing season.
Community volunteers help get the food from the garden into the surrounding community. On Sept. 29, Univest sent a group of 11 volunteers from different departments to help out. It was also the Bucks County Opportunity Council’s staff day. So, there were seven BCOC volunteers on hand to help harvest corn and apples for the food pantries.
The next goal for Hope of the Harvest is educating the community on how to start similar, smaller efforts.
“We would like to provide a model or, ‘blueprint’ for raised bed production,” said Scott Smith, DelVal’s assistant farm manager and horticulture production manager. “By educating other groups on how to start similar efforts, we can expose more people to the science of agriculture and have more of an impact. We want to help people create scalable projects that would work with smaller amounts of land.”