Long Islanders are being asked to donate to a fundraising drive supporting a community garden in Hempstead.
The 2,400-square-foot garden provides fresh produce for 200 food insecure families each year and is also a place for hands-on instruction during the growing season, as adult volunteers also teach youth about gardening techniques, varieties of plants, and healthy nutrition.
The Hempstead garden was launched in 2015 by the New York Communities Organizing Fund, an arm of New York Communities for Change. The fund holds a formal launch event in the spring, which raises awareness about the availability of free, fresh produce in Hempstead. Throughout the growing season, the garden coordinator manages a list of volunteers and develops a schedule for watering and weeding. In the fall, the coordinator and the garden committee host a harvest day to distribute the crops to local residents.
Children learn about the different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including basic information about plant structures, growth patterns, nutritional needs, and anatomical differences. Garden volunteers distribute fruits, vegetables, and herbs harvested from the garden in a number of ways, sending produce home with families who attend gardening workshops, delivering to homebound seniors and other vulnerable households, and donating the rest to local food pantries.
The fundraiser for the Hempstead Community Garden runs through Thursday, Dec. 15.
Click here to donate.