Retirees turn over new leaf as volunteers at North Philadelphia Sanctuary Farm

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Monday, April 3, 2023
Retirees turn over new leaf as volunteers at Sanctuary Farm
Members of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps branch out after retirement to help people in need across their communities.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I have spent most of my career, about 40 years, in higher education," said Jane Seaberg. "And I really wanted an active retirement that I would continue to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually."

Luckily for Seaberg, she found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. The nationwide service corps connects individuals over the age of 50 with deployment sites where they can meet the needs of people in their communities.

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps of Philadelphia/South Jersey focuses on assisting with seniors, education, shelter and transitional housing, and food service to name a few.

Seaberg, along with fellow members Claudia Huot and Porter Bush, are stationed at Sanctuary Farm in North Philadelphia.

"I love the mission in terms of providing healthy food to those who lack access," said Seaberg. "And I get great satisfaction and joy from being here and working with people."

Sanctuary Farm was formed in 2017 and has since generated about 17,300 pounds of fresh produce for more than 700 families in the community.

"It was an abandoned lot. It was full of debris like a lot of the lots in Philadelphia, unfortunately," said Executive Director Andrea Vettori. "And since then, it has blossomed and grown."

Now with four corner lots to grow and harvest produce, Sanctuary Farm offers various programs and free food distributions throughout the year.

To learn more about the Ignatian Volunteer Corps Philadelphia/South Jersey or Sanctuary Farm and how to get involved, visit their websites.

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