The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 3, 2013

City store will offer locally grown food

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — The seed-to-table concept is a way for people to create a personal connection with the food they eat.

And, in the case of children, it can help them learn about the benefits of healthy living, too.

Those are some of the reasons why the Greater Prospect Store Co-Op organizers have decided to make seed-to-table an integral part of the soon-to-open market. Greater Johns­town High School students will get help from Natural Biodiversity, a local conservation organization, in planting vegetables and fruits in community gardens.

The crops will be sold at the store in raw forms and in prepared foods, such as soups and salads.

Youngsters will then be able to see their families enjoying meals made with foods they grew.

“It will definitely give a sense of pride and accomplishment,” said the Rev. Sylvia King, GPS Co-Op president.

Natural Biodiversity Executive Director Kristina Strosnider expects the experience will be enlightening for many of the students.

“I think, oftentimes, if you ask children where a hamburger comes from, they say McDonald’s or the grocery store,” said Strosnider. “But, if you hold up a green pepper, the kids might not even know what vegetable it is.”

GPS wants to have a community garden built and operating at one of the district’s schools by this summer. The plan is to install gardens at every school within the district by next growing season.

The co-op itself is set to open in May at 110 William Penn Ave. People will be able to join the nonprofit store for an annual fee of $60 or by volunteering 12 hours per month. The store will sell food and coffee, while also offering a laundromat and educational facilities.

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