A collaborative and community-led program which addresses food access and education in our community, Grow Your Own is a partnership of the best kind.
The Grow Your Own project – a collaboration among CAE, the Hardwick Area Food Pantry, and Wonder Arts – involves a steering committee of dedicated community volunteers with a mission to increase food independence, better health, and well-being through shared knowledge and experience. The program offers workshops taught by neighbors that focus on gardening, cooking, and food preservation. We support the Hardwick Community Gardens and build garden beds at apartment buildings nearby, with help from Hazen Union School students.
Interested in joining Grow Your Own or learning more? Membership and workshops are free and open to the public, and children are welcome. For more information, contact LauraLee Sweeney, executive director at the Hardwick Area Food Pantry or CAE Community Programs Manager Bethany Dunbar.
The collaboration between CAE, the Hardwick Area Food Pantry, and Wonder Arts continues with a new website, Nourish Hardwick. The goal of Nourish Hardwick is to share resources, and to be a one-stop online portal where community members can find information about food access in the region. The mission is to increase food independence, and to promote better health and well-being through shared knowledge and experience. During the pandemic our Community Programs team and staff created a prepared meals program with local restaurants that then became part of the statewide Everyone Eats project. Stay tuned as we take the lessons learned to continue some efforts to provide prepared meals.
Pies for People
Each November, our annual Pies for People event brings together volunteers and gleaned local produce in the spirit of sharing the bounty of the harvest! Each fall volunteers make more than 100 pies from gleaned squash - donated by High Mowing Organic Seeds. The pies go to our neighbors at the pantry, schools, and nursing homes in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. During the pandemic we created a new project when neighbors baked Thanksgiving pies at home to donate. We will regroup in the summer of 2022 to consider which direction to go with this project in the fall.