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. The Food Cupboard serves 600 families a month.
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 and ends in late October. Crops are rotated among the beds.
In 2017, we grew and donated 265 pounds of produce: radishes, six types of peppers, green beans, cucumbers, beets, potatoes, lettuces, parsley, dill, Swiss chard, tomatoes, onions, egglant, spinach and salad turnips. In addition, the total of food donations brought to church by parishioners was 1590 pounds.
Volunteers to help with the garden are always needed to weed and water and harvest. Volunteers work in the garden for one hour a week. There will be sign-up sheets at church as we go through the growing season in 2018. See you in the garden!