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Voting Campaign Wins Grow Food, Grow Hope Piece of $20,000 Prize

Supporters Offer 24,000 Votes in Favor of Community Gardens Project

September 10, 2012

In its fourth summer, Grow Food, grow Hope again offered 40 small plots for teaching vegetable gardening to local residents. AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer Erin Richardson assist Wayne and Rebecca Grodhiewicz as their garden took shape in early July.

In its fourth summer, Grow Food, grow Hope again offered 40 small plots for teaching vegetable gardening to local residents. AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer Erin Richardson assist Wayne and Rebecca Grodhiewicz as their garden took shape in early July.

After almost six months of online voting, Grow Food, Grow Hope received over 24,000 votes to finish second overall in the DeLoach Vineyards’ Support Community Gardens Grant Competition to win a piece of the $20,000 grand prize and the chance to be featured in the December/January issue of Organic Magazine.

“The support that we have received since voting began has been overwhelming,” said Tara Lydy, program director for GFGH and the Center for Service and Civic Engagement at Wilmington College. “To get well over 20,000 votes shows just how much people believe in our project and the potential that gardening has to make a positive impact in our community.”

Fifteen other community garden projects from around the country competed for the grant. Only the top five vote-getters were eligible for a piece of the grand prize.

“Our assumption is that the money will be split evenly among the winners and that Grow Food, Grow Hope will receive $4,000, though that’s not guaranteed.” said Lydy “That’s what we’re expecting but whatever money we do get will go a long way in planning for long-term sustainability of our garden projects.”

Online voting for the DeLoach grant was open from March to early August.

Using the voting campaign as an opportunity to promote Virtual Volunteerism, GFGH and Wilmington College staff and faculty were able to rally support from alumni, family, friends and the community.

Especially large contributors to the success of the voting were the residents at Cape May Retirement Village in Wilmington, who made sure that there was a team in place to vote every day and an alumnus from the East Coast that convinced some 200 friends and family members to vote regularly. Other outreach efforts saw support come Wright State University, Greene County and as far away as Texas, Virginia and Vermont.