PITTSTOWN, N.J. – With the academic year and fall seasons already in full swing, a large contingent of Seton Hall student-athletes took time out to head to the farm to assist America’s Grow-a-Row in the fight against hunger.
50 student-athletes traveled to America’s Grow-a-Row headquarters in Pittstown on Sunday and helped harvest over 11,000 pounds of produce that will translate into 50,000 servings to be distributed throughout New Jersey food banks.
“For a collegiate athlete to use the little spare time they have, and spend it on an early Sunday morning, working at a farm to feed those faced with hunger, is a sign of their true character,” said Chip Paillex – the Founder and President of America’s Grow-a-Row (AGAR). “Hosting 50 Seton Hall student-athletes that sacrificed part of their weekend for AGAR will, without question, be one of the shining moments of our program this year.
In the four years since it was formed, the partnership between The Hall and AGAR has made a tangible impact in the fight against hunger. Last fall, representatives from 10 varsity teams contributed to a harvest that yielded over 30,000 servings of corn; following up a 2013 effort that saw 36,500 pounds of squash harvested in two hours.
This initiative has become a pillar of The H.A.L.L. (Helping Athletes Learn to be Leaders) Program's community enrichment efforts and helps to further the university’s mission of developing servant leaders.
“It was really humbling to be able to get out of our routine and pick fresh produce that was going to help feed other families that are in need,” said softball’s Emily Supercynski, a freshman from Aurora, Colorado. “I personally found this to be a great event because it not only tackled the idea of ending hunger, but it also provided the types of food needed to promote healthier lifestyles while giving us the opportunity to give back in the process.”
The connection between Seton Hall and the Grow-a-Row organization extends beyond Sunday's efforts as former basketball star Jerry Walker and his charity, Team Walker, have a longstanding partnership with the organization as well. Team Walker’s involvement doubles as an educational opportunity for the youth that it serves and in 2014, Jerry was honored at the second-annual Farm-to-Fork Fundraiser held by AGAR.
About America's Grow-A-Row
With the support of 4,500 volunteers, America's Grow-a-Row is on target to hit the goal of donating 1.2 million pounds of free fresh produce this year to various hunger relief agencies in New Jersey while at the same time educating people of all ages about hunger, the importance of agriculture, and healthy eating. For more information and to support America's Grow-a-Row, visit www.americasgrowarow.org or contact Chip Paillex at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 908-331-2962.