Fourth Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner to Benefit Grow Food, Grow Hope

Event Planned for Sept. 20 at the Gardens

August 29, 2012

The late summer harvest season is finding scores of local persons enjoying the produce they learned to grow through the Grow Food, Grow Hope Community Gardens Initiative.

As a means for celebrating its success and sustaining the widespread gardens project into 2013, Wilmington College and Sodexo Campus Services are co-sponsoring the fourth annual Farm-to-Table Dinner to benefit Grow Food, Grow Hope Sept. 20, at 5:30 p.m., at the community gardens off Quaker Way.

A barbecue buffet will feature all locally produced foods prepared by Sodexo’s professional staff.

The cost is $25. Tickets can be purchased and reservations made by contacting Beverly Carpenter at Wilmington College, (937) 382-6661 ext. 273, by Sept. 13. Orders with checks made payable to "Wilmington College" can be mailed c/o Wilmington College, Office of  Advancement, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington, OH 45177.

Grow Food, Grow Hope is a community gardens project initiated in 2009 by Wilmington College for Wilmington and Clinton County. The goal of the project is to use local agricultural resources to address community needs resulting from the area’s current economic challenges.

Its central purpose is to increase the capacity of our citizens to provide food for their families. Toward that end, the Community Gardens Project is creating a network of community food producers that can supply food to those in need and to local markets.

In 2009, the College first received funding for an AmeriCorps VISTA program that works with a coalition of community leaders to pursue two primary objectives: to generate a renewed interest in small plot and backyard gardening through education and community outreach, and to improve access of all community members to adequate, affordable and nutritious food.

The centerpiece of the project is a series of 40 4-by-12 foot small plot gardens on College land. The purpose of the gardens is to teach preselected families and individuals how to grow their own vegetables and supplement their food needs. Seeds, seedlings, tools and assistance are provided.

Other components of the project include producing vegetables on College farmland for donation to local food pantries, holding a year around farmers market, promoting backyard gardening and an edible landscaping project around public buildings, creating a growers co-op, supporting the area’s “Buy Local First Clinton County” campaign and offering youth outreach activities.