Eastonâ€™s Veggie Van will resume distribution of locally grown cucumbers, squash, snap peas and other fresh vegetables to residents of the West Ward starting from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 17 and continuing every Thursday thereafter until Sept. 4Â at the community garden at 10th Â and Pine streets.
This is the second season for the Veggie Van, which is operated by students from Lafayette Collegeâ€™s Technology Clinic in collaboration with the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership (WWNP) to increase access of fresh, healthy and affordable produce in the West Ward. Designated a â€śfood desert,â€ť the neighborhood is more than one mile from the closest grocery store and many residents donâ€™t have cars.
Last year, more than 1,500 pounds of produce was distributed over a seven-week period.
The produce is free but residents are asked to contribute a suggested donation for each bag of crops, with funding going to the WWNP to support community gardens
The bushels of donated produce are picked the morning before a veggie run from Lafayette Collegeâ€™s LaFarm, Easton Urban Farm, Crayola Gardens, and other community gardens throughout the city.
The Veggie Van is part of an effort to strengthen relationships between Lafayette and the WWNP, the City of Easton and its residents, and provide student leadership opportunities through community-based learning, research and service.
The summer 2014 program is operated by three students, Alexa Gatti â€™16, Andrew Goldberg â€™15, and Rachel Leister â€™15. They are in charge of growing crops at LaFarm, researching aspects of sustainability within the context of the program, and planning weekly distributions of produce at the supply stand.
Photos courtesy of Lafayette College, photography by Chuck Zovko
Higher resolution images online.
Left: Allie Nagurney â€™16 helps set up Veggie Van stand, https://flic.kr/p/fEupiY
Right: Veggie Van Program distributed more than 1,500 pounds of produce to local residents, https://flic.kr/p/fEuqzY