Fresh Food, With a Dash of Education

6/13/2016 - Pontiac, Illinois

OSF Saint James John W. Albrecht Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Illinois are teaming up to support the effort to make healthy, locally grown food available for the community. The pair recently donated $1,000 to the Spence Farm Foundation’s Grow & Give Garden.

The Grow & Give Garden is a unique resource for the community. Most of the food grown goes to area food pantries. The produce is also used for educational opportunities like tastings for the garden volunteers, who are mainly children.

Access to fresh, nutritious food can be limited for some families. OSF Saint James President Brad Solberg says the Grow & Give Garden is a step in the right direction.

“Being able to access fresh food is something many of us take for granted,” said Solberg. “Not only is the Grow & Give garden working to fill that void, but the Spence Farm Foundation is using it as a vehicle to educate the community as well. We at OSF HealthCare are proud to support the entire effort.”

“At the end of the day everybody has the right to eat healthy and delicious food,” said Erin Meyer, Executive Director of the Spence Farm Foundation. “The Grow & Give Garden will improve the community’s overall health and well-being. It not only provides healthy and nutritious food to the area, but also connects the community to the social, environmental, economic, and cultural aspects of sustainability through hands-on education.”

The Give & Grow Garden is planted, maintained and harvested by volunteers. This year’s produce includes potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, and peppers, as well as a “pollinator row” of flowering plants to attract beneficial insects to the garden.

OSF HealthCare is proud to support the Spence Farm Foundation, and its mission to help the community understand the social, economic and environmental impact of cultivating and sustaining a healthy food system.



Libby Allison
Media Relations Coordinator
(309) 308-5015