Explorers of Post 125 Grow Crops for Doylestown Food Pantry

Young people are raising fresh produce for BCHG’s Doylestown pantry in new garden on Central Bucks EMS grounds.

By ANNE BIGGS September 16, 2015

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An interest in doing something different for their community led the young men and women of Central Bucks Emergency Medical Services Explorer Post 125 to establish a raised bed garden to grow fresh produce for the Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) food pantry in Doylestown starting this summer.

Explorers, a career-based, service-oriented organization that is part of Boy Scouts of America, welcomes young men and women ages 14 to 21. Post 125 was established 10 years ago with a focus on careers in emergency services, primarily emergency medical services. It has 18 members.

“Our partnership with United Way of Bucks County inspired us to serve our community in ways other than just emergency services, such as fighting everyday food insecurity,” says post advisor Robert Dorfman, EMT, who oversees the group with four other adult advisors. “By growing fresh produce, we can work outside together while meeting a glaring need in the community.”

Cathy Snyder, founder and executive director of Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, which collects donated produce from local farms and markets to distribute immediately to nonprofit hunger-relief agencies helping the most needy families in the community, worked with the young people to plan the initiative and helped obtain donations of vegetable plants from None Such Farms in Buckingham and Gravity Hill Farm in Titusville, NJ.

BP Paving & Excavating in Chalfont donated screened topsoil for the six raised beds and delivered it to the site. Bucks County Foodshed Alliance will also provide advice on putting the garden to bed in preparation for next year’s growing season.

Food pantries are adding accommodation, such as refrigeration, to meet the growing demand for fresh produce, which is low in fat and sugar and high in fiber and necessary nutrients. Most shelf-stable foods – easy to stock and store – are processed and contain added sugars and other ingredients that studies have shown contribute to high rates of child obesity, diabetes and other chronic health issues in people of all ages.

The BCHG food pantry at 470 Old Dublin Pike in Doylestown is open Wednesday evenings 5:30-8:00, Thursdays 10:30-1:30 and Sundays 10:30-1:00.

Explorers Post 125 meets at Central Bucks EMS, 455 East Street, Doylestown, weekly on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:30. For more information: http://www.CBEMS.org/explorers.