All 4-H members are asked to actively demonstrate their committment to the 4-H pledge by participating in the Statewide 4-H Community Service project this fall. 4-H clubs may continue to collect food or try something new this year.
Need some inspiration? Three dedicated 4-H volunteers from Belchertown, Nancy Searle, Louise Butler and Patricia Berry thought it would be wonderful to grow vegetables to donate to local food pantries. They spoke to Judy Gillan at the New England Small Farms Institute about their idea. Nancy applied for a 4-H Foundation Club Grant for "seed" money and their project was off and running! Over the summer local 4-H members learned to care for a garden by watering, weeding and feeding. They also learned about companion planting for a healthy garden and then about harvesting. As a result of their efforts they were able to donate fresh produce to food pantries at St. Francis of Assisi, Dwight Chapel and Belchertown United Church of Christ. They donated vegetables to Hope's Place at the Hope United Methodist Church for their monthly meal and also to the Belchertown Senior Center. In addition, vegetables were donated to the Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center in Springfield for their health fair.
Big dreams start small. The Belchertown 4-H Community Garden Project is a dream come true. This group of dedicated 4-H volunteers and members were able to bring fresh produce to the food insecure members of their community by working, doing and learning together; a true fulfillment of the 4-H pledge, "I pledge my hands to larger service".