Grant offers students with disabilities offer to garden, donate produce to area food pantry

Eric Sucar
Some of the various flower displays at Matawan World of Gardening in Old Bridge on May 5.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools will use a $10,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey for Schools to fund a summer internship program in which students with disabilities will work on gardens on the East Brunswick and Piscataway campuses.

Ten students will be paid to work three days a week for nine weeks on the 2,500-square-foot fruit and vegetable gardens. The grant also will pay for a teacher/coordinator on each campus, according to information provided by the schools.

“This generation of students will require leaders and citizens who can think environmentally, understand the interconnectedness of human and natural systems, and have the resolve, skill and resolution to act,” Dr. Tracey Maccia, MCVTS director of special education, who applied for and will supervise the grant, said in the statement.

The grant, one of six $10,000 grants awarded statewide, is funded by the PSEG Foundation. An additional 20 grants of $2,000 also were awarded. Proposals were evaluated by an independent selection committee.

“At MCVTS, the students will practice the arts of citizenship while improving the lives of their neighbors,” Maccia said in the statement, noting all the produce raised over the summer will be donated to Feeding Middlesex County, a nonprofit food pantry program for the needy.

“It’s a great honor to support schools and school districts that are doing the important work of integrating sustainability into student learning around the state,” Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey, said in the statement.


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