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Earth Team Volunteers for People's Gardens Provide Food For Local Prom

St. Francis Community Garden Group volunteerEarth Team Volunteers in Cheyenne County, Kansas worked together with the junior class at the local high school to offer a Prom Dinner made out of food grown on local farms. Four local producers donated meat, white flour, wheat flour, and eggs to the class to help offset the
cost of purchasing the rest of the meal locally.

The dinner consisted of chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes; gravy and corn; salad (some hydroponic and some aquaponically grown); rolls with an organic wheat blend; and cheesecake. A volunteer gathered the items and delivered them to the high school where other volunteers  prepared the meal with cafeteria staff. Lessons learned will be used to improve local food availability.

St. Francis Community Garden Group volunteerSt. Francis, Kansas, is a small community in Northwest Kansas, where the local grocery store recently filed bankruptcy and the county was recognized as a “food desert” by the USDA, based on the distance residents must travel to obtain food for their families. Even before filing bankruptcy, the grocery store carried only a sparse selection of fruits and vegetables in its 10 ft. produce section. There was usually only potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, and iceberg lettuce. The Community Garden Club was formed to address the local need for a variety of fresh, healthy produce that could promote community health.

Since 2011, more than 146 volunteers have signed up in this small community and donated over 2500 hours with the Community Garden Group. These volunteers helped develop four People’s Gardens, including a Junior Garden Club and several hoop houses.

For more information regarding the Earth Team Volunteer Program in Kansas, contact your area
volunteer program coordinators or the state volunteer coordinator as follows:

Coordinator Area of Responsibility Location Phone Number
Jan Klaus State Volunteer Coordinator Hays 785-625-2588
Toni Flax Area 1 Coordinator Hill City 785-421-2115
Leslie Spikes Area 2 Coordinator Liberal 620-624-2421
Joyce Wade Area 3 Coordinator Erie 620-244-3491
Mechelle Foos Area 4 Coordinator Troy 785-985-2221
Diane Edwards State Office Coordinator Salina 785-823-4575