Chair: Cliff Smith, City of St. Petersburg, email@example.com
Gail Allen, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services
Scarlett Amey-Wyns, Fresh Initiatives Supply Hub
Rosy Bailey, In Season Pro, Food Systems
Malory Foster, UF/IFAS
Caitlyn Peacock, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS
The Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger has received a donation of Earthbox planters from the Earthbox Research Center in Ellenton Florida. We have also received a grant from the University of Florida IFAS Family Nutrition Program to construct other DIY Garden2Go boxes that function similarly to the Earthbox. The Earthbox planter and the DIY version are sub-irrigation watering systems ideal for growing vegetables and herbs in a small space.
Select 7 initial sites which will distribute 41 boxes. Each recipient will receive a Garden2Go box that contains the soil, fertilizer, dolomite and plants of their choice. The recipients of the boxes have agreed to provide feedback on what work well, any problems they encountered, and suggestions for the next phase.
The sites chosen: Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center, High Point Neighborhood Family Center, Meals on Wheels Tamp, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Taste It-Neighborly Care Network, Good Samaritan Mission, Florida Hospital Carrolwood, Food as Medicine Program.
The Work Team has completed Phase I and is working on a comprehensive report on the project. In Phase II, Garden2Go boxes will be distributed during October 2016 (sites are being finalized), and the team will look into the possibility of buying and refurbishing used boxes. The goals for the project are to add gardeners; focus on healthy food access and nutrition; and enable the disabled, seniors, and disadvantaged persons to enjoy the benefits of gardening.
The team is wrapping up the 2015-2016 growing season. Initially, 47 Garden2Go boxes were distributed. Gulfcoast Jewish Family Services distributed an additional 30 boxes to their clients. The team will be completing a year-end report the end of May. They are making plans for next season and looking for grant funding to expand the program. Next meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM at Gulfcoast Jewish Family Services.
Have 3 sites fully distributed and gone through initial process, all in Pinellas: St Pete Free Clinic, Lealman neighborhood family center, and Hyde Point Neighborhood Family Center. All are going pretty well. Have been using text message communications between participants; don’t have a percentage right now but at least half are corresponding with us by text and despite language barriers, we have had people respond with pictures of their boxes. Looking forward to doing refill for Hyde Point on 25th and St Pete Free Clinic on 29th. Over in Tampa, seeing the initial boxes get distributed at Meals on Wheels this coming week. Launching Meals on Wheels program which is a little different; take the box and plants to the client and plant them with the client, a little Gardening 101, with a Master Gardener going on the truck to give the lesson. Will start with four boxes directly to the clients and then keep a box for the staff on-site. That will launch next Wednesday. Total participants by this summer will probably be around 70-100 people with Earthboxes, so that will give us a good sense to see that the pilot is over, what have we learned, draw some conclusions. (Taste It team) Did 5 sites in Pinellas at senior congregant dining sites. The boxes are being held at the sites and are cared for by a couple of individuals; did a nutrition lesson in Taste It around it and it’s going well. Many of the seniors are interested in having a smaller version of the box where they can garden and we’ve been collecting that information.