Girl Scouts, the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, the Delaware State University Cooperative Extension, and the St. Joseph's Center for Community Service in Clayton have all contributed to creating a garden to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

Mother nature and hard working volunteers have teamed up to deliver a bountiful harvest to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware at the community garden at St. Joseph’s Center for Community Service in Clayton.

On Monday, August 17, the volunteers joined with representatives of the Delaware Cooperative Extension and Food Bank of Delaware to harvest the produce that was planted last spring.

Those involved include:

Girl Scouts - Janet Berry, Senior Vice President Program & Property, Renee Naughton, Teen Leadership & Travel Pathway Manager, and members of Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, Inc. acting as apprentice gardeners accompanied by their troop leaders and other caring volunteers;

Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware - Anna Stoops, New Castle County Agriculture Extension Agent; Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University - Jason Challandes, Extension Educator;

Food Bank of Delaware – Kim Kostes, Community Relations Manager and Charlotte McGarry, Logistics Director; and

St. Joseph’s Center for Community Service - Board Chair Joyce Webber and Marc C. Ostroff, Executive Director.

The groups formed a partnership, the Cooperative Extension Agents laid out the Community Garden plot which was seeded on May 9 on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Center for Community Service in Clayton. Throughout the growing season, Kent County Girl Scout troops rotated in tending the garden and harvesting the food.

The Girl Scouts and other garden volunteers have delivered more than 870 pounds of zucchini, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, eggplant, watermelons, okra, peppers and corn in a continuing series of donations to the Food Bank of Delaware in conjunction with the Delaware Does More program.

The project goals are:
    • to develop from this first-year effort a program for a variety of organization’s members to grow their own food,
    • to provide an educational benefit to the scouts and sustainable good health,
    • to educate the public and participants on the importance of farm-raised food and organic methods,
    • to engage the scouts in preparation of food items grown from the garden,
    • to realize a surplus of produce which would be donated to the Food Bank of Delaware,
    • to partner with other entities, such as vendors, food distributors, and technicians to enhance the community nature of the venture, and
    • to be among the pilot programs in the community gardens phase of Delaware Does More.

St. Joseph’s Center for Community Service’s mission is to provide space for programs and activities that serve the needs of the community. The Foundation is always looking for volunteers at all levels of commitment and expertise. For information, call Administrative Assistant Cynthia Staker at (302) 653-8814.