Drive by PFCU’s Operations Center on Townsend Road and you’ll catch a glimpse of tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, lettuce, strawberries, beets, and if you’re lucky, a peach tree in bloom. This flavorful harvest and more make up PFCU’s Garden Project. What began nearly seven years ago as a patch of land with a few tomatoes and herbs has since grown to a 150-foot-by-40-foot bountiful garden and home to four chickens, Molly, Ginger, Vivian and Nugget.
The idea to create a garden came from several employees who thought it would be a great solution to address the issue of food insecurity in countless households, across the city that do not always know where their next meal will come from. The senior management team supported the idea and a partnership was formed with Aid for Friends, a nonprofit that alleviates hunger for isolated homebound people with little access to fresh foods. The produce grown in the garden is enjoyed by employees at the credit union, many of whom make donations toward the charity. PFCU then matches the money raised and donates all proceeds and leftover produce to Aid for Friends. Since the program began seven years ago, PFCU has donated $10,500 to the nonprofit!
As the garden continues to grow, so does employee participation. The PFCU Garden Project has become one of the fastest growing and most popular wellness initiatives at the credit union, with approximately 100 employees from various departments involved. Not only does PFCU’s Garden Project encourage healthy eating habits, but it also gives employees the opportunity to socialize with one another while sowing, planting, weeding and harvesting the garden.
In 2012 and 2013, the community garden was recognized during the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual awards program in the Urban Farm category. This year, PFCU has once again entered its Community Garden into the PHS’s City Gardens Contest and is honored to be competing against such a high caliber of gardeners across the city.