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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Hastings Community Center Grows Food for Pantry

Jenny Conte and the James V. Harmon Community Center in Hastings have decided to help make the food pantry in town just a little bit fresher.

Conte has used her resources at the center to help start a community garden in Hastings, growing fresh produce for the food pantry. Along with help from a local non-profit organization, Family-to-Family , the garden was started to help keep the pantry fully stocked throughout the year.

"They offered to help us with the startup if we could recruit the volunteers and get it started," Conte said. "So that was sort of how the idea came about and then we tossed it around at a youth council meeting and the two of us joined forces to try and recruit some volunteers."

The garden is an 18x18 foot plot of land located at Zinsser Park off of Edgar's Lane. Growing inside the garden is a wide variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, basil, eggplant, cauliflower and broccoli.

Conte said they are still in the midst of getting the garden ready and could use any willing volunteers. With the group of volunteers that are already in place, it's up to Conte to make sure everyone knows what to do in the garden.

"Part of my challenge is coordinating the group and getting people up there together at the right times to do the bulk of the work," she said.

The next task for Conte and the volunteers is to put a name on their project.

"We're tossing around names so we're at a stalemate right now," Conte said. "The Giving Garden is one of the names that had been voted and the other was The Pantry Patch. We need a couple more people to vote to break the tie."

The vegetables that are grown will be given to the pantry in the James V. Harmon Community Center in Hastings and will also be available for those who volunteered and the children that frequent the center. The yet to be named garden project was created to encourage volunteering and helping those in need.

"I think it's just about the community coming together and getting to know your neighbors a little bit and doing something for the greater good," Conte said.

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