Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
Last week, headed by interim president, Dr Mary Nichols, a team from the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) at Passley Gardens in Portland donated food produce to the School of Hope, which caters for children with disabilities.
The donated food, which included fresh cow's milk, June plum, and juice, along with breadfruit, came following a request made by the school's administrators in a letter sent to CASE.
"We are giving you what we grow," commented Nichols.
She added: "A request was made by way of a letter for flour and rice, among other things. We don't grow those things, but we practise to eat what we grow and grow what we eat. It is the first time that we have received a request for food that we do not grow.
"We have provided for the children fresh cow's milk, which is already scalded, and is good for the brain. We will be adopting this school in the sense that we will be providing them with fresh cow's milk on a regular basis, and we will be sending in technical persons to assist them with their backyard gardening."
In addition, the CASE team also handed over two fruit trees - June plum and breadfruit - to be planted by students. A commitment was also given for students from CASE to visit the School of Hope and assist with the planting of a new garden.
The School of Hope, which is located near Drapers, has had its challenges over the years with frequent break-ins by criminals, who have stripped the school of its VCR and laptop computers.
FARM THEFT A PROBLEM
The situation is further compounded by praedial larceny, which has left the school garden bare. This has affected the morale of the teachers and students.
"We are seriously affected by the break-ins and praedial larceny," said Kemoy Phillips, a senior teacher at the institution.
"It's as if when we take one step forward, we are forced to take three or four backwards. We are happy for the assistance from CASE, and we are hoping that this time around, the thieves will give us a break. The students love to farm and, therefore, we are happy at the opportunity to rekindle our garden. There was a time when our callaloo, peppers, pak choi, banana, and corn were among the finest that were grown. We have longed for such a return," she added.
The school has a student population of 30, along with two teachers and two teachers' aides.