After selling produce from the Tennyson Garden a few weekends at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, UGC staff wanted to the students decide how the money from sales of Swiss chard, basil, lacinato kale, and collards could be used to support other community projects. The students decided on seven different possibilities for where their money could go:
- Cancer patients and research
- Nursing homes (for new beds and chairs)
- Salvation Army (for food and hygiene supplies)
- Homeless (for clothing, blankets, toiletries)
- Animal shelters and charities
- Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry
- Another Community Garden
At our last Garden Club meeting before the Winter Break, students voted after munching on kale chips they had harvested, roasted, and seasoned. Results showed that there was close competition between Cancer Research (9 votes) and Animal Charities (8 votes) – out of 21 voting students. Students were also asked to support their vote with reasons why their cause was most important. Some of the most insightful (and colorful) answers included:
- “I would like to donate and help animal shelters. Animals need to be cared for because humans have wiped out the places where they would live freely.”
- “Animal shelters. Why? Because I love animals. Animals are people too.”
- “I would like to support cancer [research] because my good friend from church died from cervical cancer and I wish she could’ve lived”
- “My sister went to live with the Salvation Army and learned the hard way but I would like to donate [to the Salvation Army] so those who that happens to will be taken care of.”
- “I had a great aunt who died from cancer recently, because she was stage four when she found out. My grandma’s friend, Judy, also had breast cancer, but is currently very healthy. I hope it would help, and I think cancer patients need it the most. If the homeless/hungry people need money, I think they should get a job themselves.”
Because of the close tallies of Cancer Research and Animal Shelters, students will be voting on their final charity today at Garden Club (January 10th). Stay tuned . . .
Follow to the Urban Gardening Coalition’s blog for more updates on the Tennyson Middle School Garden and the Sodexo School Engagment Grant!
Sodexo is underwriting this program because they expressly want to engage students on the issue of childhood hunger. Although it is often difficult to isolate children from a hungry family, or from the broader underlying issues of poverty and homelessness, this progaram’s focus is on bringing food resources to children, and on increasing awareness of the crisis of hunger as it affects the children in thea community.