Plant a “Garden for the Community”

May 2, 2012 under CANR News

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware and many others in the community, will “Plant a Garden for the Community” on our Newark farm on Friday, May 11th (10 am to 5 pm) and Saturday, May 12th (9 am to 2 pm). In the event of rain, we will plant the Garden on May 18th and 19th. This is the 4th year for our Garden – to date we have donated over 10 tons of fresh produce grown in the Garden to the Food Bank to help them meet their mission – a community without hunger – by providing Delaware families with fresh, local food.

We need and welcome your help this year as we plant this 15,000 square foot garden on our farm and donate all food produced in the garden to the Food Bank (please visit our website for more details -http://ag.udel.edu/communitygarden). If you would like to join our volunteer team and help with the Garden throughout the year, click on the “Get Involved” tab on our website.

If you can provide a few hours to help plant our “Garden for the Community,” please join us in front of the Wilson Farmhouse (directly behind the Girl Scouts facility on Route 896; see website for directions) on May 11th or May 12th. Please send an e-mail to commgard@udel.edu to tell us which date we can expect you. Tools/supplies will be provided but feel free to bring your own.

Share

UDairy Creamery partners with Center for Disabilities Studies

August 8, 2011 under CANR News

Sophie DeMesse, center, with Geoffrey Steggell and William Edwards

For Geoffrey Steggell and William Edwards, the UDairy Creameryis a great place to hone the skills that they’ve learned at the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS).

UDairy Creamery has partnered with CDS to hire individuals with disabilities to work in the store through the center’s Transition, Education and Employment Model (TEEM) Employment Services program.

TEEM helps individuals with disabilities gain greater independence and involvement in the community. TEEM’s Employment Services program teach employment skills, social awareness, effective communication and self-advocacy.

Although originally hired to work in the UDaily Creamery production area making ice cream, Steggell and Edwards also operate the cash register and take customer orders. They receive on-the-job coaching from CDS employment specialist Sophie DeMesse, who helps them communicate and problem solve.

DeMesse is a 2010 graduate of UD’s College of Education and Human Development who has a degree in human services with a minor in disabilities studies. As an employment specialist for TEEM Employment Services, she guides individuals with disabilities through the entire process of employment, helping them to obtain and maintain jobs in the community.

Steggell, a 22-year-old graduate of Newark High School, says he loves working at the UDairy Creamery. His favorite aspect of the job is working at the cash register, but he also enjoys making ice cream. He works with the food science team to create various flavors, including the new Cinnamon Toast Crunchie.

Edwards, a 21-year-old graduate of Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, also enjoys his time at the UDairy Creamery, where his favorite part of the job is making ice cream. He takes part and enjoys all aspects of making ice cream and helping to operate the creamery.

As employees of the UDairy Creamery, Steggell and Edwards learn how to work as members of a team, how to provide good customer support and—most importantly—how to make great ice cream. But they aren’t the only ones who benefit from the partnership between UDairy Creamery and CDS.

UDairy Creamery manager Melinda Litvinas says that employees can learn how to interact more effectively with individuals with disabilities as members of the workforce and community. As the program has continued, Litvinas says that she has “observed a positive response to Geoffrey and William’s work from both the creamery employees and the public.”

DeMesse agrees that the entire community benefits from this and other TEEM Employment Services partnerships because employing people with disabilities opens the eyes of customers and other employees to new situations and possibilities. “There are many challenges and many barriers to getting a person a job, but it’s so rewarding when the individual can work independently, loves the job and succeeds in doing just as well as anyone else,” she says.

CDS actively reaches out to prospective employers like the creamery who are open to employing individuals with disabilities. “We are so grateful for the openness that many employers at UD have demonstrated by creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” says Brian Freedman, director of the TEEM unit.

Since starting work at the UDairy Creamery, Steggell and Edwards have both been accepted into TEEM’s new Career and Life Studies Certificate (CLSC) program. This program is designed for individuals who want to continue their education after high school but require additional assistance. The two-year CLSC program, which leads to a certificate, is tailored to the needs of the individual and provides coaching and peer mentoring for the participants. It gives young adults like Steggell and Edwards more options for their future.

For more information about the UDairy Creamery and special promotions, “like” UDairy Creamery on Facebook or visit the creamery website.

Information about the Center for Disabilities Studies is available at the center’s website.

Article by Jenna Byers

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article was originally posted online on UDaily.

Share

Bringing the harvest home

July 13, 2011 under CANR News

Volunteers spent the morning of July 12 harvesting a cornucopia of fresh peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, tomatillos and more from the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community. Once they finished harvesting the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry truck was loaded and headed to Sparrow Run Park in Bear where volunteers distributed fresh produce, 30-pound meal boxes, chicken, fresh bread and other food items to 387 individuals.

“Working with the food bank’s mobile pantry allows our volunteers to experience theresult of their hard work in the garden and connect with the community,” said Dr. Tom Sims, University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Deputy Dean.  “Our students not only gain valuable lessons in what it takes to produce food, they start on a path of service.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have a steady stream of fresh, locally-grown produce from the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community,” said our President and CEO, Patricia Beebe. “Because of the garden and other local partners we are able to provide families with healthy foods that they otherwise may not be able to afford.”

Renee Connor, a University of Delaware student and intern for the Garden for the Community said that contributing fresh produce to our  mobile pantry is important because it provides those in need with healthy foods. “Obviously feeding people in need is an important part, but it’s also important to give families healthier food, like fresh-picked produce. We’re giving them basil, peppers, eggplant, okra, squash, zucchini and tomatoes,” she said. “The partnership is a good way for people in the community to get involved and do something helpful for people who are in need of assistance.”

Through the mobile pantry program, a  truck travels to an underserved area during hours when clients find it easier to receive assistance. Thirty-pound meal boxes filled with enough nutritious food to feed four people for up to five meals are distributed.

For more information about the Garden for the Community efforts visit www.ag.udel.edu/communitygarden.

To celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community, in partnership with our friends at the Food Bank, we will hold our third annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, August 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will be held outside the garden. Tickets are $40/person. The price includes dinner, wine and entertainment. For more information or to attend the event, please visit www.fbd.org

For photos of the event please click here.

Share

CANR highlighted in new UD virtual tour

February 17, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware has unveiled a virtual tour of the campus for prospective students and their families, and for anyone else who might be interested in learning more about UD.

The tour is less of a map and more of a tour through UD’s new “pillars” (discovery learning, talent magnet, smart money, east coast classic, idea leadership, citizen university).

Below is a listing of the video segments that highlight CANR faculty and students, so that you can more easily find them.  There are also photos and video shots scattered throughout all of the pieces.

When the page opens, click on Discover the University of Delaware.
Discovery Learning tab: Hands on Experience
Talent Magnet tab: Undergraduate Research
East Coast Classic tab: Access to Internships
Smart Money tab: Career Focus
Citizen University tab: Study Abroad; Go Global; Feeding the world, protecting the planet

Many thanks to the CANR faculty and students who contributed to this project.

For the complete UDaily story about the new tour, click here.

To learn more about video capabilities at UD and to learn how YOU can be involved in projects like this at UD and CANR, please contact Katy O’Connell, CANR Communications Manager, at kvo@udel.edu.

Share