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State College Area Meals on Wheels Delivering Gardens in Buckets

by and on June 06, 2019 1:00 PM

State College Area Meals on Wheels is offering a new program for its clients — Bucket Gardens.

The project is partnered and supported by the Sustainability Institute at Penn state, Student Farm at Penn State, an AmeriCorps National Service Member, students at Easterly Parkway Elementary School, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Otto’s Restaurant and Weis Markets.

“Before planting began, the students from Easterly Parkway decorated two-gallon and five-gallon buckets with pictures cut from magazines, colorful markers, kind words and duct tape,” said Christine Tyler, executive director of State College Area Meals on Wheels. “Each Bucket Garden contains a tomato, sweet pepper or zinnia plant with a booklet of instructions for caring for the plants.”

Just recently the Meals on Wheels volunteers and AmeriCorps member began distributing the Bucket Gardens. The Meals on Wheels organization sent out forms to all its clients and 23 responded to accept a bucket with a tomato, sweet pepper or zinnia already planted. The number of clients that expressed interest is approximately 20 percent of the client base, according to Tyler.

The purpose of the Bucket Gardens is to encourage simple home gardening among the elderly population as well as to promote healthy eating habits. Each client is allowed to receive two buckets. Using repurposed buckets for the exercise in gardening is also a way to help the environment.

Tyler said that the response has been very favorable.

“It is satisfying to see the smiles on the faces of the clients when the buckets arrived,” said Tyler.

Many people, especially in the senior population, were once flower growers, vegetable growers or both. This project gives them the chance to again watch the “growing” process and maybe even harvest a ripe tomato.

State College Area Meals on Wheels is located at 205 Garner St., State College. For more information call (814) 237-8135.


This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Connie Cousins covers Centre County for the Gazette.
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