At BArT, the fitness and athletic teachers were bringing back the school's community garden when Mass in Motion Program Director Amanda Chilson contacted them about it. The school was mainly using the garden to help teach wellness so teaming up with the Grow Extra was natural, the teachers said.
"This way everybody has a chance to get out and give back to the community," Heather Linscott, fitness teacher, said on Monday.
The school started a community garden about five years ago but over time it fell into disarray. According to Fitness and Athletic Director Jennifer Choquette, a co-worker who started the garden five years ago has become ill and bringing the garden back was a tribute to her. It also fits in with the school's education.
Choquette has developed a schedule for students to work in the garden and after the school year ends, she will take over the majority of the gardening with staff helping out.
A garden fits in line with the school's wellness education.
Hoosac Harvest started the program and is organizing volunteers to help transport the extra vegetables to the nearby food pantries as well as even help the gardeners pick the crops.
Hoosac Harvest is aimed at promoting locally grown food. It started by subsidizing shares at Community Supported Agriculture farms and has now taken on this project.
Mass in Motion jumped on board because it fits in with their goals. Mass in Motion is funded by a state Department of Public Health grant to promote healthy living.
"All of our work plans align with healthy living," Chilson said. "Hoosac Harvest is already here so there is no need to reinvent the wheel."
Mass in Motion will lend its expertise in helping coordinate and promote the program.
The crops will be given to the Friendship Center Food Pantry in North Adams, the Parish of Pope John Paul the Great in Adams and St. Patrick's Food Pantry in Williamstown.
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