St. Francis supports the West Chester Food Cupboard both by collecting shelf-stable grocery items and by growing produce in our community garden on the church property. We work with the Food Cupboard to determine what produce their clients prefer.
We are one of 125 organizations in this program started and supported by the Chester Country Food Bank. They put on seminars for gardeners and supply seedlings and seeds for us at no charge.
There are six raised beds where we grow three crops per bed per season. Our growing season starts with seedlings and seeds in April. We have found we can grow some things better than others. Crops are rotated between the beds. We started with cool weather crops in the raised beds.
In 2016, we delivered 267 pounds of fresh produce to the West Chester Food Cupboard beginning on May 31. Our last delivery was October 31. As of September 20, 2017, we delivered almost 250 ponds of fresh produce, and parishioners brought produce from their home gardens for the Food Cupboard as well.
Volunteers to help with the garden are always needed to weed and water and harvest. There will be sign-up sheets at church as we go through the growing season. This year we will be working on the garden on Monday afternoons from 5-6 pm. When vegetables are ready for harvest, we store them in the church refrigerators to take to the West Chester Food Cupboard first thing on Tuesdays. See you in the garden!