The Lewes Community Garden announced it has welcomed Teach a Person to Fish Society into its family.
Founded by co-directors Teresa and Cass Ripley, Teach a Person to Fish Society is a Sussex County nonprofit whose mission is to provide fresh produce to local food bank outlets. Tackling food insecurity in Sussex County – which was greatly exacerbated by the pandemic – has been the society’s first priority.
The nonprofit will claim one of the community-sponsored garden beds, and Lewes Community Garden will provide volunteers to help maintain the bed.
“TAPTF joining forces with LCG is a great synergy since both our organizations share a common goal of being reliable resources for supplying fresh organic produce to local food banks in the greater Lewes community,” said Teresa Ripley. “The Lewes Community Garden was one of the very first groups we wanted to partner with. Being able to offer fresh produce is an all-important aspect of our mission.”
In addition to the Lewes Community Garden partnership, Ripley said the society has formed a network of chef partners who cook individually packaged, ready-to-eat, wholesome, nutritious meals. The society delivers these meals to food pantry outlets Community Resource Center and Lighthouse for Broken Wings in Rehoboth twice a week, and every other week to Milton Community Food Pantry.
“We use chefs to prepare the meals to ensure safe food handling practices are followed, individually package the meals because of COVID gathering (common meal) restrictions and prepare them ready to eat because many of the impoverished in our community do not have access to cooking facilities,” said Ripley.
The society’s next initiative is to build a system of community and private gardens to supplement the food bank’s offerings of fresh produce. Including the plot at Lewes Community Garden, the society has three other gardens at various community/private sites and plans to cultivate more in years to come.
Perrin Smith, community garden chair, said having the society join the garden is a welcome addition and reinforces its goal of providing more produce to those in need. Last year, the community garden donated over 600 pounds of produce to local food banks and church groups.
“This is a tradition we plan on continuing in the years ahead, and partnering with groups like TAPTF makes our goal of increasing our food donations that much more attainable,” said Smith
To sponsor a bed for a low-income family or to make a donation, mail a check to Lewes Community Gardeners Fund, P.O. Box 436, Lewes, DE 19958. For more information, go to lewescommunitygarden.org or taptfsociety.org.