SNYDER COUNTY, Pa. — From tomatoes to peppers and even berries, Susquehanna University harvested a record 1,128 pounds of produce from its campus garden this season and all of it is donated locally.
"We are apart of this community, and our community is facing some major challenges and I want to make sure that we're being a good part of that community," said Derek Martin, sustainability coordinator.
The campus garden teaches students the importance of where food comes from and how hard it is to grow it.
Along with fruits and vegetables, the university also harvested 205 pounds of honey.
This year's record number did come with some challenges brought on by the coronavirus.
"We had a group of students already lined up to work at the garden, but then we found out that everything was closing and we couldn't house any of our students on campus, so that was no longer an option."
Luckily commuter students, close to the campus were able to step in and help out.
Donations of produce have been happening for nearly 5 years. Those involved in the garden, this harvest season, believe their work is more important than ever.
"I think they felt an extra level of responsibility to make sure we can grow as much food as we can to help out those in our level and I think there was an extra level of pressure."
The majority of the produce was given to Regional Engagement Center and Loaves & Fishes food bank in Selinsgrove, along with Haven Ministries, and Sunshine corner in Sunbury. Those organizations have the job of distributing food to those who need it.