September 2019. Fred Greenwood of the Obama Legacy Initiative and Aurora (Illinois) Mayor Irvin present a plaque Alderman Sherman Jenkins for supporting OLI's food pantries.
Featured left to right: Fred Greenwood, President of the Obama Legacy Initiative; Alderman Sherman Jenkins; Aurora (Illinois) Mayor Irvin; .
OLI Garden Season 2
Our second year of OLI gardening included two adjoining plots at the Naperville Community Gardens. As challenging as our inaugural year was in 2018, this year proved to be even more challenging. We hoped to please our food pantry customers by growing what they requested, lettuces and greens. So we planted a huge section with Red Sail Lettuce seeds in April. Torrential rains washed away almost all of the dozen long rows of seeds. Realizing that almost nothing was able to germinate, Fred ordered more seeds and we replanted. Within two weeks, monsoon-like rains of more than 5 inches poured down and repeated the washout. Sadly, we had to throw in the towel on the lettuce and switch to other crops.
We planted collard greens, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, eggplant, radishes and okra. Many of the plants started out well but then began withering. We knew it was not from a lack of moisture, because when it didn’t rain, Fred diligently watered. We concluded it was the heavy clay, poor nutrient depleted soil. Under Marilyn’s oversight we amended the soil. Some of the plants rebounded and some did not. The collard greens and radishes suffered, but the green beans, peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant, and okra recovered enough to provide some decent produce to deliver to the food pantry.
We are still somewhere on the learning curve with community gardening, but we now have more confidence going into planning for the next season, with better strategies to address the challenges we have experienced. It has been “1st year weep, 2nd year creep, and 3rd year LEAP!!
So, what did we learn! The climate is changing on a yearly to daily basis. The seasons are changing in respect to length and intensity. Soil can be good one year, but poor the next year due to erosion and depletion of nutrients. Yearly, soil amendment is critical. In addition to placing crops directly in the soil, mounding, raised beds, and raised gardens (waist high) are good ways to improve the survival of your drop.
Just watch us LEAP in 2020!
Read about how individuals can make a difference by organizing small food pantries in their neighborhoods. Story from Star Tribune. Click the image to read the story.
Columbia Public Schools creates a new position to bring the farm to the Schools
We have been busy with planting, weeding and harvesting at the Urban Farm. With the help of some dedicated volunteers, we have already donated over 1500 pounds of lettuce! Staff and volunteers have also been busy harvesting broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, bok choy, peas and more! This week we planted peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and okra. We're looking forward to donating more fresh produce this summer!
We were excited for our first 30 pounds of broccoli sent to the Food Bank's Central Pantry! This crop's a labor of love, and the payoff is a super nutrient-dense, fresh as it gets veggie! Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables around! It has a high content of soluble fiber, is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Take a look at some photos from the Urban Farm, as we labor through this heat to make these harvests happen!
Learn more about how to support Planting for the Pantry: https://columbiaurbanag.org/planting4thepantry
In 2016, then-president Barack Obama joined Anthony Bourdain on his CNN show Parts Unkown, eating at a restaurant in Hanoi. In light of the recent passing of Bourdain, Obama took to Twitter to commemorate the chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who died Friday.
"He taught us about food," wrote Obama in his post below a photo of the two enjoying noodles together. "But more importantly, about its ability to bring us together."
Earlier this year, the owners of the restaurant, Bun Cha Huong Lien, decided to encase the table where the two had sat, along with its settings, in glass. During the presidential visit, the restaurant had been mobbed with crowds and the event, a very big deal. That moment of history is preserved in glass alongside a photo of Obama and Bourdain.
Origanus Katlego Ramfate became the first International Student Intern for the Obama legacy Initiative in November 2017. Many thanks go to Origanus for his untiring work on the OLI website. Origanus is credited with the wonderful and beautiful pictures on this website. Faculty and many students at the College of DuPage became close friends and were captured by his warm smile and willingness to help wherever he could. The OLI will miss Origanus especially Fred Greenwood, President, and co-founder of the OLI. " We learned more from Origanus than he may have learned from us." The remarkable friendship will stay intact, said Greenwood. The initiatives of the OLI will go with Origanus to his native home of Rustenburg, South Africa and be disseminated to the followers of our 44th President Barack Obama. This internship was one that may never be matched, the bar is set extremely high.
YES, WE CAN!
Each year the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter participates in a project known as the “College-Wide Project” and for the fall 2015 project the chapter researched the need for a food pantry on campus. They spent the semester meeting with local experts and college administration, conducting surveys of current students and faculty/staff and working with service-learning students on the need and feasibility of opening a pantry. Phi Theta Kappa’s research alone found that 100 out of 750 College of DuPage students reported having access to only 1-2 full meals a day or less than a full meal a day. The chapter felt that this showed food insecurity was definitely an issue that should be addressed at College of DuPage. Phi Theta Kappa wanted to support the campus community members by giving them the brain “fuel” they need to succeed while at the College of DuPage and therefore created the FUEL Pantry.
“Many college students who experience food insecurity struggle to reach milestones such as year-to-year persistence and certificate or degree completion” ---Higher Education Today
Who Can Use the Pantry? The FUEL food pantry is for all students, faculty, and staff facing food insecurity and in need of assistance. Our goal is to conveniently provide food for individuals on campus who may be food insecure. Students, faculty, and staff will need a valid College ID and complete a short registration form. No proof of need is necessary. Guidelines on how often an individual can visit and how much food can be received per visit are posted in the food pantry.
Hours of Operation
Monday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
*These hours are subject to change. If these hours do not meet your needs please email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Office of Student Life in Student Services Center (SSC), Room 1217 and talk to Shannon.
Donations The FUEL Pantry accepts non-perishable food donations at any time of the year. Donations can be dropped off in the Phi Theta Kappa office in SSC 2212 or the Office of Student Life in SSC 1217. In addition, tax-deductible cash donations can be made through the COD Foundation.
Popular items include:
If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to sign up. For questions or more information on the Fuel Pantry, email email@example.com.
The Obama Legacy Initiative's mission is to