Sometimes the solution to a difficult challenge is right in front of you.
Delaware Valley University has rich land that can produce tens of thousands of pounds of healthy food each season. So, when our students learned about people in their own communities who were going without fresh, healthy produce, they decided that had to change. In 2012, a group of concerned students helped launch Hope of the Harvest, a charitable garden that uses the university’s land to provide healthy, whole foods for area food pantries.
Hope of the Harvest is a partnership between Delaware Valley University, Philabundance, the Bucks County Opportunity Council, United Way of Bucks County, The Land O’Lakes Foundation, The Reinvestment Fund, and The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation/ Pharo Family Fund. The team works together to grow the food, supply volunteers and distribute the produce to feed people throughout the local area.
At DelVal, this year, we are using sections of our land to grow: potatoes, corn, onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, eggplant, peppers and apples to fight hunger. Last year, we were able to donate about 57,000 pounds of fresh produce through Hope of the Harvest. This year, we would like to donate at least 50,000 pounds.
Where Are We Growing Food?
We use both a plot of land on our main campus and a plot of land at our Roth Center for Sustainable Agriculture to grow food for Hope of the Harvest.
Through the use of our indoor hydroponics system we can contribute extra food to the effort. DelVal is able to grow both fresh lettuce and kale inside thanks to our hydroponic set up. This system allows us to grow food without the use of soil in a controlled, indoor environment.
Want to Help?
If you like the sound of this project, we would love to have you get involved! We can always use volunteers to help care for the plants and harvest produce. To sign up to volunteer, please visit: bit.ly/harvest16
Financial support of our partners also keeps Hope of the Harvest running and allows the project to continue its mission of providing fresh produce for our neighbors in need.
One of the best ways to support Hope of the Harvest is to get involved in United Way of Bucks County’s Bucks Knocks Out Hunger event. This annual push to fight hunger in Bucks County provides much needed support to the charitable garden.
Every donation and volunteer hour you can contribute to Bucks Knocks Out Hunger 2016 will help the fight against hunger in Bucks County.
About the contributor: Annmarie Ely is media relations and publications coordinator at Delaware Valley University.