Farmers’ Market and Community Garden Come Together for Common Cause
Two recent Goodwin College initiatives – the Community Garden and Riverside Farmers’ Market – have been crucial in supporting the common cause of Goodwin’s Transitions Food Pantry.
The pantry strives to remove hunger as a concern for our Goodwin family by soliciting, collecting, and distributing food to those in need. A number of students find it difficult to meet their financial obligations and support a family while attending school.
The Community Garden, founded in 2012, is dedicated to sharing the joy of gardening with our students, employees, and neighbors in East Hartford. The garden space includes 55 raised beds, a community tool chest, and sitting area.
Roger Bousquet, an employee at Pratt and Whitney, uses his plot to plant and pick vegetables specifically for Goodwin’s Transitions Food Bank.
The Riverside Farmers’ Market includes multiple vendors who sell fresh produce, herbs, cut flowers, sauces, and all natural shea butter products to the public every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. through October. The market is also a participant in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for WIC and SNAP recipients and senior citizens.
Unity Farm, a participant in the market, donates a portion of their unsold vegetables to Transitions Food Bank. “I truly believe we should help people in need. I’d hope somebody would help me if I needed it,” said Kelly Jacobs, a member of Unity Farm.
George Duhart, also a participant in the market and owner of George Gee’s All Purpose BBQ sauce, donated a portion of his sauces to the pantry. “What you sow you shall reap. People who aren’t willing to give find themselves in a state of destitution because they want to hold on to everything,” Duhart stated.
Sandy Pearce, Goodwin’s Webmaster, has played a large part in organizing and maintaining the Community Garden and Riverside Farmers’ Market. Pearce brings the generous donations to the Food Bank and whatever is not needed at the time is shared with St. Rose’s Church in East Hartford.
“When you give back to the community, you are a part of a positive change. It connects you with those in need. You are a part of improving their quality of life and empowering them to believe in a better future. It’s heartwarming to see the domino effect that giving back has on people,” Pearce said. Over 100 pounds of food have been donated since July.
“Donations to the Transitions Food Pantry are critical in our effort to alleviate hunger among the members of our Goodwin College Community who are in need,” said Mike Rotondo, Transitions Food Pantry Assistant Director and Associate Professor and Co-Director for the Business Administration Program.
Goodwin is determined to serve our non-traditional students in as many ways possible. The College is continuously making positives strides to better both the Goodwin and East Hartford community.
If you would like to learn more about the Community Garden and Riverside Farmers’ Market, please contact Sandy Pearce at SPearce@goodwin.edu. If you would like to learn more about Transitions Food Pantry and how you can help, please contact Mike Rotondo at MRotondo@goodwin.edu.
By: Hannah Stacy