Participants in the Community Table of Albion program enjoyed some local fresh produce last week thanks to the Center for Sustainability & the Environment (CSE) at Albion College.
Most of the 100 pounds of fresh produce that arrived in time for distribution on Tuesday was grown at the Albion College Student Farm in the Whitehouse Nature Center. Crops offered to recipients included locally grown and freshly picked zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, and eggplant. Volunteers helped distribute to the many cars waiting to get their food boxes.
Dr. Trisha Franzen, professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and a Community Gardens founder and leader helped with the project from seeds to harvest. She taught students to raise seedlings, plant and weed at both the Student Farm at the college nature center, and the Community Garden location near Vision of Life on Jefferson Street near McIntosh Park. Franzen arranged for the food to be delivered to the Community Table of Albion, where three times a month, about 200 boxes of food are offered to community members.
The Community Table of Albion project is managed by Ginny Garrison. The project is overseen by Albion Healthcare Alliance, along with several other local nonprofits including Albion College, Albion-Homer United Way, Albion Community Foundation, Albion First United Methodist Church, and Oaklawn Hospital. The groups are working together on community food security issues.
Dr. Thom Wilch, CSE faculty director and professor in the Department of Earth and Environment reflect on community food security as a sustainability and equity issue, in a recent article on the Albion College website. He was on hand for both the Community Garden planting on May 14, and the hoophouse barn raising project on Sept. 13 both this year. Many others participated in the projects including Dick Porter, Sheridan Township Supervisor, Daisy Hall, CSE coordinator, and Valerie Franzen, a local events coordinator.
Six students participated in the inaugural summer internship program.
For more information about the Community Table of Albion Food Distribution project, including how to donate funds, visit www.albionhealthcare.org/food/.