Project HOPE Coalition Discusses Food and Funding

Teen Center Garden

Teen Center Garden

The Project HOPE Coalition held their monthly meeting this past Monday, July 8 at Lincoln Elementary School and reviewed activities and revenues from the recent Family Fun Day at Willow Creek Park, and planned for future summer events. 

An estimated 815 residents attended the Saturday event and $408 was raised through various food sales, including popcorn donated from Big R for the evening outdoor movie.  Project HOPE director, Lori Hammer said the inflatable movie screen used for the film worked perfectly and the City of Lamar is thinking of purchasing one for future events.  One financial drawback is the cost of licensing rights to show the film.


Large View of Garden

Large View of Garden


The vegetable garden constructed this past winter and planted this spring with seedlings cared for by the students is sprouting.  Susan Hanson, Coalition member, said that while the installation of a permanent watering system is pending, a neighbor agreed to water for plants for the students.  Emily Nieschburg of LiveWell High Plains said Coalition members should start planning on how best to use the garden produce.  Some ideas included donating to the Mary and Martha food pantry, a farm produce sale or using the herbs and tomatoes as ingredients for a future pizza party for the kids.  Some classroom instruction can also be tied into the garden including lessons on the process of growing vegetables and for future “Cooking Matters” classes at the school.  She added that grants are available for some of the garden projects and she was recently contacted by the Colorado philanthropy group, El Pomar, which has shown an interest in some school projects. 

Discussion turned to sustainable funding for Project HOPE as only one year is left on the JAG grant which funds the Teen Center and Project HOPE functions at Lincoln School.  Two sponsors were mentioned, State Farm which focuses on student activities and the Daniels Foundation grant which funds preventative programs for drug and alcohol abuse. 

Members reviewed the opportunity to host food booths on September 20 when around 1,000 bicycle riders will converge on southeast Colorado for the second annual Pedal the Plains event.  Nieschburg said a 30 minute training video details safe food handling practices and needs to be viewed for those who volunteer to cook and serve food.  On another food and nutrition matter, Nieschburg discussed the national program, No Kid Hungry and how it may help local children receive a meal on Fridays now that the RE-2 district is on a four day schedule for classes.  She said the school board should be contacted for permission to be able to ask families about home nutrition during the August school registration period and to see how the program could be expanded into Lamar.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEducationFeaturedHealthLamarRecreationSchoolYouth


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.