EGG HARBOR CITY – Residents of Egg Harbor City have been taking advantage of a resource that is not available in most neighboring towns. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, vegetables, fruit and herbs are being raised at a community garden that is available for those in need of such products at no cost.
Candace Negron has been the force behind the project, located in a field next to the ambulance building on Philadelphia Avenue. She recently gave a report to City Council about the garden and who has consumed products grown there.
Senior residents at Liverpool Estates, located across the street from the project, have especially benefitted from the crops available there.
“This is a real community effort,” Negron said. “We are working together to create unity in our city.”
She said 40-50 volunteers have helped with the project. She is also involved with the Joshua Project, which helps get churches to support government and youth programs.
Negron saw a need two years ago to see that fresh vegetables were available for the city’s youth. Since then, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has donated plants and a $500 grant from AtlantiCare has also been received to help with the project.
On a recent autumn evening, five students from the Egg Harbor City Community School were helping to maintain the crops growing on the site.
“This is good because we get exercise and learn to eat better for our hearts,” 10-year-old Aminah Davis said.
Lyzeida Mateo, 13, added, “This is a productive use of our time and older people get to benefit from our efforts.”
Jeremiah Perry, 12, is volunteering for the first time.
“I am doing this for my health and also to grow healthy stuff to help other people,” Perry said.
Mayor Lisa Jiampetti has nothing but praise for Negron’s efforts.
“Candace is a resident that really wants to change hearts and lives in EHC. She sees the needs in our community and actively seeks ways to reach out and help. The Community Garden is just one example. She is always there to help city leaders in any way she can.
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