MONTICELLO –Already this harvest season, Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster has been the recipient of more than 300 pounds of fresh, organic produce cultivated at New Hope Community’s Hope Farm. The produce, harvested at the farm located on the SUNY Sullivan campus in Loch Sheldrake, is used to supplement and enhance the menu provided at Catholic Charities residential programs in Monticello. As part of the program, Catholic Charities clients have even helped with harvesting some of the vegetables that later ended up on their plates.
“Catholic Charities is grateful to benefit from the incredible collaboration between New Hope Community and SUNY Sullivan,” said Dr. Michael Weddle, Catholic Charities Medical Director, who made the connection between Catholic Charities and Hope Farm. “A fresh, wholesome diet plays an important role in a person’s overall health and well-being, especially when people are recovering from addiction which has put so much stress on the body. Having produce fresh from the farm adds an important aspect to the treatment plan,” added Dr. Weddle.
Catholic Charities staff and clients visit the farm each week to collect the donated produce. They began the season with a tour of Hope Farm and as the season progressed even helped with picking the fresh produce which has included tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, green beans, radishes, eggplant, kale, spinach, and collard greens.
Hope Farm is a planned organic farm project initiated in collaboration with SUNY Sullivan’s Sustainability Team, Culinary Program. This health-focused, community-centered project is being cultivated on a three-acre plot that was provided by SUNY Sullivan.
“Hope Farm provides the people New Hope Community supports with experiences and opportunities that meaningfully develop their agricultural capabilities and more deeply connects them with our community members,” said Debra McGinness, New Hope Community’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our farmers believe that all things grow and thrive when grounded in a deep appreciation for the gifts of nature and we are happy to begin a new partnership with Catholic Charities to enable this wonderful organization to also reap the benefits of our harvest.”