Community Garden Helps Feed Comets in Need


Gary Cocke, associate director of energy conservation and sustainability at UT Dallas, helped harvest onions and other vegetables for the Comet Cupboard.
UT Dallas staff and student leaders recently collaborated to harvest fresh produce from the Community Garden on campus and donate it to the Comet Cupboard for students in need.
Anne Hart, program coordinator for the Office of Student Volunteerism (OSV), said the garden has had excess produce because some gardeners have not been able to be on campus to tend their plots during the COVID-19 pandemic. A student leader in the OSV suggested that the produce be given to the Comet Cupboard, a UT Dallas food pantry, to benefit the campus community.
“The obvious solution was to reach out to the Comet Cupboard and see if we could share the joy of fresh and nutritious produce with students who are in need,” Hart said.
“Fresh produce can be expensive at the store, and those who are struggling to pay for groceries might bypass purchasing these fresh and healthy products because they need their dollars to stretch. The Comet Cupboard is providing that connection between us gardeners and our UTD community members in need,” Hart said.
The Community Garden so far has donated more than 60 pounds of vegetables, including carrots, onions, beets, cabbage, sugar snap peas, kale and an assortment of herbs.
“We often discuss the joy of harvesting after enduring the labors that go into gardening, but knowing that what we have produced is feeding our UTD community makes all of it just that much more rewarding and special,” Hart said.
–Robin Russell