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Profiles
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19
Last spring and summer, the Student Sustainability Club, the Sustainability
Advisory Committee, and the Center for Health & Wellness collaborated
to expand the Community Garden on the Bedford campus from 256 to
5,000 square feet.
The expansion project allowed faculty and staff to join student gardeners to
work in individual and communal plots. In late August, more than 40 volunteer
gardeners celebrated a Garden Harvest Lunch cookout and enjoyed the fruits of
their labor.
During the event, more than 60 pounds of fresh produce including tomatoes,
beans, squash, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and lettuce were presented
to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) in Lowell.
"MCC's organic garden has a significant impact on our community," said Chris
Fiori, Director of Student Accounts and Sustainability Advisory Committee
member. "Not only is it a great way to educate students about the benefits of
eating healthy food, it also allows the college to help others who need fresh
produce to maintain their good health."
By the end of the growing season, volunteer gardeners donated more than
750 pounds of produce to MVFB.
Community Gardeners Enjoy Growth Expansion
"Grass Roots Growing at Girls Inc. is an opportunity to
introduce healthy eating habits to young students," said
Kennedy. "It's easier to get people hooked on healthy
habits when they're young."
This summer, Kennedy got a chance to teach the girls healthy
cooking habits. "We baked kale chips and made smoothies. We
also made fresh salsa from our garden and had a blind taste test
against store-bought goods. All but one of the girls preferred the
fresh salsa. Seeing how receptive students are to new and healthy
foods is rewarding."
Currently enrolled in MCC's Liberal Arts and Sciences
program with a Life Sciences concentration, Kennedy is
interested in studying different cultures and how their diets
affect their overall health.
"Many cultures have low instances of diseases, for example India
has an incredibly low instance of breast cancer. I'm interested in
studying the connections between what people eat in certain
cultures in relation to their health," said Kennedy. "I'm
interested to see if we can bring together the best of each
culture's eating habits to help prevent disease."
Kennedy hopes to use her position as Student Trustee to
connect with students, promote education, and help change
things for the better. She wants to get more locally grown food
into the campus cafeterias, while featuring a wider variety of
options for students. She would also like to see healthier snack
options in the school vending machines.
"I'm looking forward to working with student government and
college administrators to get the campus healthier, because if you
don't have your health, you can't get an education."
Tura Linderholm

By the end of the growing season, MCC's
Community Garden on the Bedford campus
donated more than 750 pounds of organic
produce to the Merrimack Valley Food Pantry.