CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Every year in the Poconos, companies and individuals come together to raise money for local non-profit organizations. The 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser has raised, to date, more than $2 million dollars. This year, the group chose six on-profits to help, including The Garden of Giving in Chestnuthill Township.
Times were tough in 2008 and Tammy Graeber found relief volunteering at a food bank. The pantry was packed with dented cans, candy, and boxed food.
“I said wow, this is what we are feeding our children and our families?” asked Tammy Graeber, Garden of Giving founder.
Believing she had to do something, Tammy transformed her back yard into a giant garden.
“It was placed on my heart that I wasn’t just going to feed one food bank. I was going to service all of Monroe County,” adds Graeber.
Seven years later, The Garden of Giving now pumps out thousands of pounds of healthy produce that feeds thousands of local families each year.
Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network, or PVEN, in the West End is one of the food banks Tammy helps stock with her fruits and vegetables from cucumbers to corn, eggplant to eggs.
“There’s no substitute for a fresh tomato,” says Jennifer Strauch, PVEN Director of Community Services.
Tammy sees the need in Monroe County continues to grow. Her goal at the Garden of Giving isn’t only to feed families in need for free, but to make them healthier.
Graeber adds, “I’m just glad i can use my land to benefit others in our community.”
With this year’s funding from the 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, The Garden of Giving plans to expand. Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk is emceeing the big event this year on Thursday, July 28th. That’s when we will learn how much money The Garden of Giving and the other six non-profits will receive.