Junior Green Youth Farm (JGYF)
The Junior Green Youth Farm provides youth between nine and fourteen years of age with the opportunity to learn about sustainable agricultural practices, healthy food preparation, and the value of nutritional eating habits and exercise. The JGYF offers a daily hands-on gardening experience, cooking, art, and yoga classes as well as various educational field trips. Team building and group activities are successfully integrated with individual goals so that youth gain self-confidence and inter-personal skills.
Holy Family Food Pantry and Community Garden
The Roberti Community House oversees the work of neighbors both young and old as they plant, cultivate, and harvest this large community garden at the corner of 8th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Produce is bountiful and is shared with those who tend the garden as well as those who visit the Holy Family Food Pantry.
Through the donation of seeds, seedlings, and soil, the Roberti Community House has successfully worked with and encouraged neighbors to grow their own fruits and vegetables in small family gardens or container pots. In collaboration with the University of Illinois Extension, we have provided neighbors with gardening workshops each spring.
Food Share Programs
The RCH works with the non-profit organization Food Share Food (FSF) in the distribution of locally grown, farm fresh foods to low-income families in our area. For eight weeks during the summer, the RCH picks up sufficient produce from FSF to feed a minimum of thirty families. Seasonal produce consists of items such as lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, kale, corn strawberries, apples and much, much more.
Hunger is a very real and continuing problem for both children and adults in our community. In an effort to confront this issue, we have become involved in the redistribution of food in order to feed the hungry. We are working with large supermarkets that are willing to donate perishable food products so that these items don’t simply spoil on the shelf or end up as waste in a landfill. Food that we collect from supermarkets is then distributed to low-income families through the Holy Family Food Pantry, the Soup Kitchen, and the RCH.