Third Graders Harvest Squash Crop in Support of Farmers Against Hunger

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP –  Third-graders from the Washington Township Public Schools planted squash in the fields outside of Duffield’s Farm this past spring.

Their collective efforts yielded about 4,800 pounds of green and yellow squash when the students came together to harvest on Tuesday, July 14th. The fresh produce was donated to “Farmers Against Hunger,” a partnership through the New Jersey Agriculture Society, that works with 40 to 50 farms in the state to donate homegrown fruits and vegetables to communities in need.

Tracy Duffield coordinated the “Student Farmers Grow and Give” program with district liaison and Hurffville Elementary School Principal Jeff Pollock since 2001.

“I told the kids that they were true farmers because they were working through all sorts of weather conditions, just like real farmers,” said Duffield.

After Duffield visits their classrooms as part of the district’s science curriculum, third-graders from all six Washington Township Elementary Schools plant squash seeds in early May, transport the plants into the field in early June and harvest the healthy crop in July.

“This is a great partnership that we have formed with the schools,” said Duffield. “It’s nice that the kids have access to a preserved farm. This experience really helps them appreciate where their food comes from and also allows them an opportunity to turn the harvest into a community service project to provide fresh produce for free to people who would otherwise not have access to it. Today’s harvest is going straight to needy people in Camden.”

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.