Farming fights hunger with new Green Resource Center in Norristown

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Monday, July 10, 2023
Farming fights hunger with new Green Resource Center in Norristown
Workers at the PHS Green Resource Center are braving the heat to provide thousands of pounds of food to families in need.

EAST NORRITON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I think a lot of times, people think of Montgomery County as a well-off county in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately you know, there's a large percentage of the population that is experiencing food insecurity," said Justin Trezza.

Trezza is the Program Director for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Community Gardens program.

As the pandemic heightened awareness of the need to fight hunger in all parts of the world, PHS partnered with Montgomery County to develop a new kind of program. They dedicated three acres of Norristown Farm Park to establish the PHS Green Resource Center, which grows and ships food to various organizations in the area.

Now in its second full season of operations, Trezza is expecting big numbers this year.

"Last year, we produced and distributed about 8,000 pounds of produce to the community," he said. "And this year, we're projecting to produce upwards of 13,000."

As an example, produce is shipped out to use for educational purposes in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's "Food as Medicine" program. At the Karabots-Norristown Primary Care Center, produce from the Green Resource Center is used for workshops on food literacy, hands-on cooking demos, and fitness programs for children.

Food grown at the Green Resource Center is also shipped out to organizations like ICNA Relief, which offers hunger prevention, disaster relief, Muslim family services, and more in the Norristown area and even worldwide.

ICNA's Norristown food pantry coordinator, Lansana Waritay, makes the long trip from Bear, Delaware, every week to volunteer and pick up food for their weekly distribution.

"It's about 150 families every Thursday, sometimes more," he said. "It's been a blessing actually. It has been a blessing to us and the community we serve."

To learn more about the PHS Green Resource Center and how to get involved, visit their website.

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