Our project started when Master Gardener-trained Bill Zimmer and Norm Knaub cultivated parcels of land on their properties to grow produce to donate to area food banks.
Ken Lipson agreed to use a portion of his property to grow food for the hungry.
Gaining assistance from Penn State University (PSU), Americorp, and various volunteer groups, we harvested 25,000 lbs. of fruit and produce (1/2 grown by PSU) and donating all to Centre County food distribution Centers.
COVID-19 hit, shutting down all growing activity and volunteer support from the University for TWnM.
Undaunted, Ken and Bill expanded their fields and gardens to maximize their output. With assistance in field preparation and equipment maintenance from Jim Boyce, and Karen Robinson assuming expanded volunteer and administrative responsibilities, the volunteer base of TWnM grew to over 50 people. Our Principal Grower properties increased to 5, Centre County Distribution Centers to 19+, growing and distributing over 15,000 lbs. of produce for the food insecure.
We enlisted additional gardeners to grow more produce and expanded our administrative support to manage volunteers and distribution. Penn State was again able to donate vegetables from their gardens and we established additional relationships with the Ag college that may substantially expand the amount of produce we deliver in the future. We had the benefit of our first group volunteering days and look to do more of these going forward.
Funding for a major portion of seeds, seedlings, and supplies in 2021 was provided through the generous support of the Nittany Settlement Company.