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Students plant vegetables for food pantry

Krystle Wagner • Jun 4, 2019 at 9:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — Students of a Spring Lake elementary school got their hands dirty Monday afternoon.

After growing vegetables in the school’s greenhouse, Holmes Elementary School students planted pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini and other veggies into the garden at The People Center in Spring Lake. This will be the third summer that Emma Wahlberg will maintain the garden, which will be used to provide fresh produce to the agency’s food pantry.

Wahlberg, a member of Girl Scout Senior Troop 4019, partnered with the elementary school to help grow and plant the produce. The Spring Lake Middle School eighth-grader said she started the project for her Silver Award because she loves gardening and she thought it would be “amazing” to provide fresh produce to the community.

“Giving people fresh food who don’t have access to it is so important,” she said.

After walking to The People Center, the students set to work digging into the soil and carefully placing the vegetables.

Third-grader Taygen Gzym said she enjoyed the afternoon planting.

“We got to help people who don’t have food,” third-grader Kaleigh Clark added.

Third-grader Harper Bennett planted zucchini and said she hoped people would like it, suggesting that they could use it to make zucchini bread.

As her classmates watered the new plants, third-grader Jaxson Stegeman said he thought they looked good and he thinks people will like it.

The People Center Director Karen Reenders said the efforts by Wahlberg and the Holmes students are “fabulous.”

“They should know how to give,” Reenders said.

Reenders noted that Wahlberg’s troop holds their meetings at The People Center, and they’ve previously done special activities for the organization and its clients.

Now that the plants are in the soil, Wahlberg plans to water and weed the area every day this summer and harvest once a week. She also has the help of two others.

Through maintaining the garden, Wahlberg said she’s enjoyed speaking with The People Center volunteers and providing the fresh produce.

“That’s very important to me,” she said.

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