WaWa, NBC-10 among others to award school for growing needed crops for local food bank
By Eddy K. Foster, Correspondent, UnionvilleTimes.com
EAST MARLBOROUGH — Students and Faculty at Charles F. Patton Middle School celebrated the announcement that the school had won the 2011 Environmental Community Service Award. The award, which comes with a $5,000 grant, is sponsored by WaWa Markets, NBC 10, and the law firm of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP.
The school received the award Friday for growing and donating more than 50 lbs. of vegetables to the Chester County Food Bank. The award came as a surprise to students, who were unaware that their work had garnered such attention. Terry Ruggles of NBC 10 praised the students at the award ceremony, claiming “Every one of you isn’t just making the news, you are making a difference.”
Managing Partner Robb Fox of the sponsoring law firm added, “There have never been so many entries for this award, but Charles F. Patton stood out. Your project really embodies what this award is all about.”
After the award presentation students ventured outside to their garden and picked spinach to donate to the food bank. They were so successful that they ran out of bags to put the spinach in, sending students racing inside to retrieve more containers to be filled, weighed, and donated. Phoebe Kitson-Davis, the Program Manager at the Chester County Food Bank, thanked the students for the day’s donation and made the point that hunger exists everywhere, even in Chester County.
“One in ten Chester County residents are suffering from hunger,” she told the students. “Someone in need will eat the food you collected tomorrow night.”
The project was the brainchild of Family and Consumer Science teachers Betsy Ballard and Kim Hisler. “The garden began with a series of grants, and was made possible when the school administration allowed us to build garden boxes in front of the school,” she said. “We only began last September, and we have already been able to grow and donate a lot of healthy food to those in need.”
The students were very excited not only about their imminent recognition, but also about the opportunity to give back to the community. Eighth grader Michael Daniels explained, “some of us help out with the garden through our class work, and others through the Garden Club. We were just able to open a greenhouse recently, and this grant will allow us to do even more for the hungry.”
The students and faculty will be featured in a segment on NBC 10 on Earth Day, Friday, April 22nd at 5:30pm.