The benefits of hard work and helping others have become clear as students learn about farming and benefit needy families. Twenty high school students learned about themselves and working hard during the month of June.
Some of the students thought they would ease right on through, growing some food and earning some money. They learned quickly that farming is hard work, and hot during June. They also learned how to help people in the community who were not so well off.
The students called themselves the June crew, and they took part in the sixth annual Food Initiative program. They cultivated and harvested different types of fruits and vegetables
The food is then sold at the Downtown Market, with proceeds donated to local hunger relief organizations.
“The Food Initiative organization works with high school students to come out and grow healthy food for the community and those in need,” said Michael Hampton, the program’s executive director. “Not only do the students come out and work hard physically in the garden, they are challenged mentally. We go through a variety of workshops where they learn about our health, our food system and our community.”
“There is a lot of hard work that is put into the garden each week,” said Hampton. “These students come out Monday through Friday, and the majority of that time is pulling weeds and harvesting vegetables.”
“They also get a chance to serve meals at the hunger relief organizations like Manna Cafe and the Salvation Army.”
In the first five years of the program, 120 kids have taken part.
Before the annual “Passing the Shovel” from the June crew to the July crew, each of the crew told what they had learned in the past month.
“This place has really changed me a lot,” said Josh Brockelman.