JFS Community Garden Seeding Nutrition in Pleasantville

Posted on May 01, 2014

More than 20 volunteers, staff and community members gathered on Friday, April 11, 2014 to build and plant the JFS Community Garden at the Pleasantville Housing Authority in Pleasantville. With gorgeous weather and the help of so many community members, planting day was a great success.

Consisting of three raised beds, the garden contains a wide variety of vegetables and herbs including lettuce, radishes and carrots to add nutrition to the Pleasantville Housing Authority’s residents’ diets. Peach and apple trees, accent flowers and shrubbery beautify the area surrounding the garden. Cookie Till, owner, Steve and Cookie’s By the Bay, Liz Donaghy, owner, Garden Goddess by the Sea, James Sarappa of James Andrew Designs and AtlantiCare representatives organized the planting to ensure maximum results.

The AtlantiCare Foundation awarded JFS a $5,000 grant in late 2013 to develop, build and maintain the community garden over a three year period. The JFS Community Garden was created to improve the nutrition and physical activity of the community and to encourage social interactions among mental health consumers in the Pleasantville area. This is the second collaborative project between JFS and AtlantiCare’s Growing Green Initiative.

“Having the community garden offers a wonderful and convenient opportunity to local JFS consumers,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Executive Director. “Not only can they participate by helping to take care of the garden, but they can also incorporate the fresh vegetables and fruits into their diets resulting in healthier lifestyles.”

In addition to the nutritional value of the garden, it promotes healthy exercise by affording its participants with an opportunity to be involved in outside physical activity, which is typically limited. Through watering, weeding and harvesting, consumers assisting with the maintenance of the community garden will get much needed exercise and will be more connected with their peers.

The JFS Community Garden will be sustained from April through October. Volunteers are needed throughout the summer to help weed, water and harvest the garden. JFS will also offer health and wellness programming with AtlantiCare throughout the year.

AtlantiCare and Jewish Family Service will host a second planting day Friday, May 23rd at 10 a.m. Media are invited to attend, please contact JFS for future information. This will include planting warmer weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, etc. and unveiling the garden signage. For more information about the Community Garden, please contact Jewish Family Service at 609-822-1108.