Planting a seed to feed: Giving back to the community through school garden

Chestnut Elementary School students tending the Giving Garden grow all types of food that will be a healthy choice of nutritious meals to the homeless and the hungry in the community who are not able to afford it on a regular basis.

On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., Alicia Concepcion’s class will be given the opportunity to do their part in giving back to the community though The Giving Garden.

Concepcion has been a teacher at Chestnut Elementary in Poinciana for two years. She was hired in 2017 as a gifted teacher and took the initiative to encourage her students to be part of something bigger outside of the classroom.

“When I arrived at the school the garden was just there,” said Concepcion. “I thought to myself, there’s got to be a way to feed the hungry through this, as well as to teach the students STEM, discipline, responsibility and compassion by being hands on and fully involved with the growth of the garden.”

This year, a donation of $1,000 was given to the school by a local official to support the growth of the garden as well as an extra donation of $750 by Solivita.

“The kids love how they can help the community,” said Concepcion, who teaches STEM to 60 gifted children in second, third, fourth and fifth grade. “They come up to me and tell me how we have to help everyone in the community, even the dogs.”

The garden is 100 percent organic. It is used to grow all types of food that will be a healthy choice of nutritious meal to the homeless and the hungry in the community who are not able to afford it on a regular basis.

Through the use of the garden, the children have learned appreciation for the world around them. As well as to be able to understand that just because they are able to eat, does not mean that the person next to them are able to eat as well, and what they can do to help.