Charter school students recognized for community garden | Paterson Times

Charter school students recognized for community garden


Students of the Community Charter School of Paterson were recognized last Thursday for maintaining a community garden at the Spruce Street location by Cablevision’s “Good Food Garden” initiative.

Sponsors of the initiative, Optimum Community, the Food Network, and Share Our Strength acknowledged the kindergarten to fourth grade students for planting and maintaining their garden.

Along with praise students were presented with a $1,500 cheque from Optimum Community to further their healthy eating program. A $500 stipend was issued from the anti-child-hunger organization Share Our Strength.

Founder of the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (CDC) which is the parent organization of the charter school, Bob Guarasci talked about the importance of teaching children to grow their own food and learn about childhood hunger.

“By partnering with the Food Network and Share Our Strength, Optimum Community is pleased to make this program available to the students and residents of Paterson,” Cablevision’s vice-president of public affairs Jennifer Ostrager said.

“It is heartening to see our young people involved in a project that to date has benefitted so many families in the Paterson area,” said Hilda Perez, administrative aide to the director of city’s health department.

“Since the ‘Good Food Garden’ was first planted in June of 2013, it has provided fresh produce to hundreds of families in need,” Perez said. “I’d like to thank Optimum Community, the Food Network and Share Our Strength for making this possible and for helping to make positive changes now and for years to come.”

Students prepared garden salad using produce from the community garden after accepting the checks. Two students from the group also took part in a cooking demonstration with cooking and nutrition consultant chef Angie Shaghaghi.

“This is a true win-win situation as the students and those in need in our community will benefit from healthy, fresh produce,” Ostrager said.