Capital University will partner for a second year with Columbus City Schools, Barack Community Recreation Center, Whole Foods Market, Hazel's House of Hope and Community Development for All People to support a community garden, cooking and nutrition program benefiting the Lincoln Park community. A kickoff celebration and work day is set for Thursday, May 16, from 1 to 3 pm, at Lincoln Park Elementary School, 579 E. Markison Ave., in Columbus.
The garden provides free fresh produce to families of Lincoln Park Elementary students and the surrounding community members who are in need. Cooking and nutrition programs teach community members how to prepare healthy meals using garden ingredients. Providing affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables and teaching people how to grow and cook healthier foods can help improve dietary intake and the overall health of people who participate in those programs.
Capital's involvement in the projects started last year as an offshoot of President Denvy A. Bowman’s Empathy Experiment, an intense, eight-week social change initiative that pairs a select group of students with community partners who immerse students in a relevant social issue to explore whether empathy can be taught and what are the effects.
Last year's program focused on nutrition in America, and Capital partnered with Columbus City Schools, Columbus Public Health and Whole Foods Market to guide students through a firsthand study of how nutrition impacts their organizations.
The garden is a natural extension of Capital's relationships with community partners and illustrates its shared values — collaboration, service, and motivation to act and improve our community — so the University extended the partnership for a second year.
Lincoln Park will manage the project, and Capital University faculty and staff, students and alumni will volunteer to work in the garden throughout the growing season, creating another opportunity to give back to the community.
The Capital community is invited to participate in some capacity, so bring your gardening gloves and your commitment to improve our community. Come to the community kickoff celebration and workday in the garden. Volunteers can help with garden preparation and planting, or help the children with crafts and distribute snacks.
If you can't make it to the kickoff, volunteer to work a few shifts in the garden on a weekly basis from 1 to 3 pm on Tuesdays this summer and through the fall harvest season. Anyone is welcome to help. Contact Stefanie Hansen at email@example.com to RSVP for the kickoff or to sign up to help with the garden.