The campus community can use the power of the vote starting Thursday, March 31, to help feed residents of Pomona through a garden project and give Cal Poly Pomona students a deeper understanding of community spirit.
A grant submission from Assistant Professor Teresa Lloro-Bidart of the Department of Liberal Studies and Pomona Hope, a nonprofit organization that operates the Center Street Community Garden, has been approved by the Seeds of Change program for an opportunity to earn a $20,000 or $10,000 grant.
To advance to the next grant qualifying stage, submissions from across the country must be among the top 50 vote-getters in the preliminary round. To vote, go to Center Street Community Garden profile. Voting is open to everyone and closes on April 18. Votes can be cast once a day until the closing date.
Students in Lloro-Bidart’s LS401S class spend eight hours on Saturdays during the quarter to work at the community garden in tasks that include pulling out weeds and bushes, tilling soil and planting seeds. The program is a partner with the university’s Center for Community Engagement.
“The goal of the grant is to give the garden resources that it hasn’t had to establish learning gardens at the site,” said Lloro-Bidart, who specializes in environmental studies. “My students would work with the community and garden staff to install those gardens. This is designed to broaden the exemplary work that my students and the Center Street Community Garden are already doing.”
A grant would help expand existing educational and community programming that includes healthy cooking workshops, in addition to garden activities for K-12 students enrolled in Pomona Hope’s after-school programs.
“This is a great way for Cal Poly Pomona to strengthen its ties to the city of Pomona,” said Lloro-Bidart. “It’s an opportunity for our students to connect and have a significant and positive impact on the community.”
The top 50 vote-getters will be announced on April 20 and advance to the final judging phase. The 24 grant recipients will be announced on May 3.
The grant program aims to enhance the environmental, economic and social well-being of gardens, farms and communities. Organizations that help support sustainable, community-based gardening and farming programs that focus on teaching people about the food they eat and how it’s grown are eligible for a grant.