Dear Beloved Community,
2022 was a year of change for The GardenWorks Project. As we entered another year of serving the greater DuPage county area and were still feeling the lingering effects of COVID-19; staff, board members, and volunteers wanted to see how we could further meet the needs of the community. We wanted to be bold, try new things, and grow our organization to further our impact. We wanted to plant the seeds for a better, more sustainable future for all.
There was a lot of success this year. We made a new home at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, installing our first GardenWorks Project community garden space with our first composting system. We became the regional operator for Fresh Food Connect, recruiting 47 volunteers that donated over 1,600 pounds of produce to local food banks. We gleaned over 2,800 pounds of produce from local farms and – new this year – farmers markets! We added members to our team, including a staff member, two board members, and an hourly intern funded by a major grant from Tyson. We gathered in person again during our annual Harvest Against Hunger event, raising critical funds for our mission.
Thanks to the commitment and passion of our staff and volunteers, we saw the impact on our community. The GardenWorks Project planted over 3,400 vegetable seedlings in over 168 garden beds this year. We have proudly served 2638 home gardeners since 2012. This is what our program participants had to say about their experience with our organization:
- 85% said they spent less on their groceries
- 95% got more exercise and got more sunshine
- 75% had more veggies
- 95% would garden again next year
These numbers are amazing and were possible because of your dedication to our mission. On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you once again for supporting The GardenWorks Project. Whether you donated, volunteered, or supported our efforts, you allowed us to dream bigger and make our community better for all. I am so excited to see what we can do in 2023 together.
Emily Kehoe, Chairman of the Board