Planting Seeds of Hope in Camden
Seemingly in paradox, Camden, New Jersey is both a food desert and a hub for childhood obesity. It is truly an unfortunate reality for those who live in our community as well as for the millions in similar situations across the United States. Research has shown that there is a link between decreased food access and rising health issues in children. Because of these studies and the problems that they have identified, we are able to create solutions to combat them in creative ways.
For the past decade, CFET’s mission has been to engage meaningfully with our Camden community, to inspire environmental stewardship, and to educate others about food access, gardening, and healthy eating. We are able to accomplish those goals through several targeted programs. Through the generosity of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network, we are planting seeds of hope by teaching children at a very young age about the joys of gardening and healthy eating. We are partnering with our neighbors – the Sacred Heart Montessori School. For the past two years, the preschool children have enjoyed planting vegetables in our garden at Liney Ditch Park. This past year, they built raised beds next to our building and we obtained a rain barrel for watering their garden. Keep an eye out for future updates about our farmer Jon teaching the children how to put up a trellis for the peas they planted or taste tests with Theo our FoodCorps Service Member. The Montessori children’s raised beds make a nice backdrop for our youth-run farmer’s market which starts next Wednesday July 11th (3:30-5:30 P.M.). Come check us out!
About the Grantee
The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) manages 3 gardens in Camden. CFET has an innovative youth program that uses urban agriculture to develop young people’s skills and teaches healthy eating. We host service learning retreats focused on the environment and food justice. Our Garden SEEDS program teaches children the hands-on exploration of food and is run by a FoodCorps Service Member