Camden Garden: Creating Hunger Heroes

What does it take to be a Hunger Hero? Well, it helps if you are in 3rd to 5th grade. Katie Murray of the Camden Street Learning Garden has been training a new generation of Hunger Heroes through an elective class with Exploris Elementary School.

For two hours each Friday morning over the last two school quarters, 17 Exploris students have learned about the root causes of hunger, the challenges low-income families face, as well as what can lead a family to live in poverty. “It gives them a chance to walk in other people’s shoes,” says Katie. Deborah, a community gardener on Camden Street, helps Katie wrangle the kids, and shares her own experiences, bringing life stories into the learning experience. The students also work in the garden as well as engage in role-playing activities, journaling, and cooking exercises.

 Deborah, a local community member, and Katie Murray with some of the Hunger Heroes students working at the Camden Street Learning Garden.

Deborah, a local community member, and Katie Murray with some of the Hunger Heroes students working at the Camden Street Learning Garden.

On a recent morning, the kids were quizzed on how families might end up poor: “maybe you don’t have a good job,” “or you get sick and spend all your money on that,” “what about bankruptcy?” They are obviously excited about thinking through possible scenarios and exploring cause-and-effect.

Another part of the class involves a service project for Camden’s neighbors. The students decided to put together gardening kits to help novice gardeners get started, The students will collect work gloves, trowels, and seeds to package up the kits for distribution.

When asked what they like best about the class and their teacher Miss Katie, Ava replied “she is thoughtful and puts others ahead of herself,” and Cydney said the class has helped her learn how to care about other people and their lives. That sounds like the perfect definition of a Hunger Hero.

Are you interested in getting your hands dirty at one of our Learning Gardens? We have lots to keep you busy! Investigate our volunteer schedule here.