Watson Garden Donated Over 750 lbs. of Vegetables through the 2015 Season and Plans for Expansion in 2016
West Haven, CT – Watson is pleased to announce that the Watson garden, maintained and organized by Watson team members, donated a total of 750 lbs. of vegetables to WHEAT during the 2015 growing season. This is the first year of the company garden that was started in April of 2015. Donations were made to WHEAT (West Haven Emergency Assistance Taskforce) in conjunction with Connecticut Food Bank’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign. In all, more than 100 plants including cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini were grown and harvested for the Food Bank as part of this project.
For 2016 an expansion of the existing garden is planned which would double its current size. This will allow for new Watson gardeners to join the group. Several Watson team members that did not participate in 2015 have since expressed interest in the garden for 2016. In total there are over 50 Watson team members who have expressed interest in the 2016 garden project. Expansion will start this fall when additional lawn space is tilled in preparation for the 2016 growing season. Tarps will be utilized to promote the composting of organic matter mixed into the soil during tilling. This process will also provide heat that will prevent the germination of seeds from weeds.
“It was a very fun and unique experience that brought together many different departments and shifts,” said Pu Sie Lo, Food Technologist at Watson and Garden Team Leader. “I would recommend this to other companies because we were able to make a difference in our community by donating to the local food bank and by promoting healthier eating habits and giving all involved a chance to relax and enjoy their hard work.”
The garden helped employees eat healthier because they had easier access to fruits and vegetables and were more likely to include these foods in their diets.
The garden also provided an opportunity for experienced gardeners to share their knowledge with team members who had not had a garden before. Lo stated, “Many employees were beginner gardeners and we learned from each other and from reaching out to other resources.
“I am excited we are expanding the garden, including new members, and using our improved gardening skills to make the garden an even bigger success. I also look forward to further donating to WHEAT.”
Plant a Row for the Hungry links home and community gardeners and farmers to local food pantries like WHEAT that need fresh, nutritious produce. Gardeners can donate produce to the Connecticut Food Bank for distribution to area pantries or donate directly to a local food pantry. More information on the Plant a Row program can be found at the Connecticut Food Bank website.
WHEAT is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt program that exists largely upon donations of food, money, and the time and effort of volunteers. WHEAT is part of the network of food pantries working with the Connecticut Food Bank. The 5,000 households WHEAT feeds each year include more than 1,000 children. When schools are out for the summer, WHEAT provides more than 1,600 extra meals to families whose children would be getting school provided breakfasts and lunches. To learn more about WHEAT please refer to their website.
More information about Watson’s garden project and other community programs can be found on the company website’s news section.
Watson is one of the highest quality suppliers of products and services geared towards enhancing human health and nutrition around the world. We are a leader in developing quality products and innovative ingredient systems for the food and supplement industries. Expertise in custom nutrient premixes, microencapsulation, agglomeration, micronizing, spray drying, and film technology allow us to develop unique formulations and products using Watson manufactured value-added ingredients. For more information on Watson see our website.
About the Connecticut Food Bank:
The Connecticut Food Bank is the state’s non-profit leader in the fight against hunger and the largest provider of charitable food donations. Some 700 partners and programs depend on the Connecticut Food Bank as a lifeline to nutritious food for the communities they serve. The Connecticut Food Bank partnered last year with retailers, donors, volunteers and growers to provide enough food to prepare more than 18 million meals to more than 300,000 people across 127 cities and towns in six Connecticut counties.
Moira Watson, V.P. Marketing & Communications
800-388-3481 or (203)932-3000
Watson Foods Co., Inc. DBA Watson Inc.
- Corporate headquarters: 301 Heffernan Drive, West Haven CT 06516
- CEO: James T. Watson
- Website: www.watson-inc.com
- Employees: 300