Schools give back through veggie gardens
September 11, 2012 1:00PM
Updated: September 11, 2012 1:02PM
The gardens at Thornton Fractional North and Thornton Fractional South high schools have produced 1,188 pounds of produce so far this summer, including turnips, spinach, green peppers and other vegetables.
All of the produce was donated to local food pantries — Calumet City Resources and the Lansing Food Pantry.
School gardening has become a national trend due to increasing rates of childhood obesity and the rising number of food-insecure families, Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 officials said. They also said more than 17 percent of Lansing and 22 percent of Calumet City families are food-insecure.
The gardens at T.F. North and T.F. South were made possible by a 2011 Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant that gave District 215 funds to create school gardens, integrate gardening in the curriculum, and purchase fitness equipment for student and staff use.
Since grant funding has run out, the schools rely on the support of volunteers to sustain the gardens. Volunteers from local Girl and Boy Scouts troops, Lions Club and even school staff have donated their time and talents to make the garden a success.
The T.F. South Art Club made stepping stones, and construction classes made picnic tables and compost bins.
“I am quite pleased that our gardens have been so successful and that our students and staff are able to give back to our community in such a profound way by helping feed hungry families,” Superintendent Creg E. Williams said.
Provided to the Post-Tribune