Church of the Apostles and Power Packs Project Join Forces
Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ has added fresh produce to the Power Packs Project.
Power Packs Project is a local non-profit that recognizes the vital role nutrition plays in the ability of children to learn in school. Begun in 2005, this program aims to improve the mental and physical health of children by helping their parents provide nutritious meals over weekends when the school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable. While originally only offered during the school year, Power Packs expanded the program to include summer coverage.
Church of the Apostles has been involved with Power Packs since 2009 and during the school year is paired with Elizabeth Martin Elementary School. Learning of Power Packs summer program, Julie Berkow, former chair of Apostles’ Outreach Commission, offered fresh produce from the church’s 1 1/2 acre “Seeds of Hope” garden that is located on church property and maintained by volunteers, many of who are church members. Over a period of nine weeks, close to a 1,000 pounds of the garden’s produce-tomatoes, corn, potatoes, squash, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, and beets were included in the distributions to approximately 50 families. The produce has been well received.
Our “Seeds of Hope” garden was started by Eileen Thomas and Harriet Benchoff. Approximately 3,000 pounds of produce is donated to those in need during the summer. Corn, potatoes, and carrots from the garden are used to make soup to raise funds for outreach projects. In 2012, 150 quarts of homemade soup were delivered to Elizabeth, New Jersey as part of a hurricane Sandy relief effort. Currently, produce is also donated to the Lancaster County Council of Churches food bank, Water Street Ministries, Boys and Girls Club, and other churches for community meals.