The Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) is a collaborative effort among several organizations and institutions to improve wellness in Meadville. Our primary strategies to improve wellness are to increase food education and food access and to support our local food system.
Serving as both a school garden and community garden, the garden offers a space for residents to grow their own food and for school students to learn about gardening and cooking. From May to September, we hold shared work sessions, cooking and gardening workshops, and community potlucks; all of these events are free and open to the public. Allegheny students work as student gardeners, assist with research, and help to develop educational tools for the garden.
French Creek Food Hub
Through our Online Marketplace, we connect our local farmers and producers with buyers in our community in order to increase access to fresh, locally grown foods in Northwest Pennsylvania. From conducting our feasibility study with local farmers to developing the website, Allegheny students have helped create this project every step of the way.
The Mobile Market is a traveling farmers’ market that brings fresh food all over the Meadville area. We sell food grown by farmers and gardeners right here in our region, so the produce is fresh and the market supports our local growers. Allegheny students help manage the market and coordinate with local farmers and student gardeners at the Carr Hall Garden to ensure each market is stocked with local produce.
Farm-to- School Education at Meadville Area Middle School (MAMS) and the Crawford County Career and Technical Center (CCCTC)
We connect students with fresh, healthy, and local food through their classes and after-school programs. At MAMS, seventh grade Science, Social Studies, Family Consumer Science, and Life Skills classes use the garden to apply classroom concepts and to learn how food and agriculture impacts human and environmental health. At the CCCTC, horticulture students learn about small-scale agriculture, while students in the carpentry program help build and maintain the garden’s infrastructure. Allegheny students participating in the Farm-to-School Internship learn to develop food and gardening curriculum, gain experience managing outdoor classrooms, and student-teach at both MAMS and the CCCTC, as well as several other local schools.