Students Continue Got Veggies? Mission

A Senior Capstone project, which began with members of the Class of 2016, lives on as several members of the Class of 2018 continue the Got Veggies? mission of bringing fresh produce to those in need in the Miami Valley.

Eight members of the Class of 2018 have split into two Senior Capstone groups to continue the Got Veggies? mission.

“One group is focused on the physicality of the gleaning, the expansion, the social media, and recipe cards,” shared Katie Kohnen about her and other group members - Cole Breeding, Evan Eichenauer, Sarah Hartley, and Clay Mathile. “The other group is focusing on education and is making a video about GotVeggies?, food deserts, why people have been inspired to get involved, and how others can get involved.

“Dr. Jacqueline Housel from Sinclair Community College, Dr. Diana Cuy from the University of Dayton, and Steven Mackell from Mission of Mary Farm have all been contacted throughout this process and have been good assets to us,” Kohnen continued. “This Capstone group is comprised of Andrew Buchanan, Samantha Evans, and Nicole VanVoorhis. We all work together on Saturday evenings to bring the produce to Catholic Social Services.”

Over the summer, Kohnen shared how group members organized fruit picking at Monnin’s Farm which resulted in more than 40 volunteers coming together.

“Family and friends, some of which go to CJ, gleaned the fruit, which we brought to Catholic Social Services,” Kohnen reflected. “Ambassador Tony Hall, a former Senator of Ohio, helped us plan and glean this day.”

The group shared that while they have been able to glean seven times since the beginning of this growing season, they hope to find other farms open to their cause.

“Catholic Social Services depends on us for fresh produce for their food pantry, which is open during the week in the mornings,” Kohnen said. “If we had more farms to glean at, we could expand our project profoundly and possibly expand to donating to more food pantries in Dayton.”

Eichenauer added, “We are in dire need of more crates in order to go above and beyond last year’s total.”

When reflecting on the accomplishments by the Got Veggies? group, Senior Capstone Coordinator Molly Bardine noted, “Capstone is about moving beyond service and learning how to become advocates for social justice centering on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The Got Veggies? group is making a significant impact on our Dayton food deserts with the ultimate goal of more community engagement and increased knowledge about the issue.”

Bardine said Buchanan, Evans and VanVoorhis will produce a documentary about their work to share with the world, specifically school’s connected to CJ’s sponsors, the Society of Mary and Sister of Notre Dame de Namur.

Learn more by following Got Veggies? on social media:

Posted September 7, 2017