For several years the LCEC’s elementary campers (35 children from Kindergarten through 5th grade) have worked and learned weekly in the Madison Christian Community garden. They have planted, weeded, watered, and harvested fresh fruit and produce. Back in the day, their garden adventures got start-up support from the Willy Street Co-op’s Community Reinvestment Fund.

This year the Community Reinvestment Fund supported Summer Bounty, Full Bellies, a new program to make sure more of those fresh fruits and vegetables ended up in our campers’ homes. Summer Bounty, Full Bellies also built our middle school campers’ confidence as they prepared and ate diverse, healthy, sustainable foods.

In this first season 30 families signed up to receive weekly “meal boosts.” Taking advantage of whatever was fresh that week, snacks ranged from homemade bruschetta and strawberry-rhubarb muffins to hummus dip and snap peas. Campers shared with siblings and parents the adventure of chomping down on that first bite of fresh salsa. For many of our middle school campers, the experience sparked an interest in the culinary arts and served as a springboard for future training and employment.

Summer Bounty, Full Bellies is just one of many activities LCEC kids and families enjoyed this summer. With huge thanks to the countless donors, volunteers, and partner organizations who made this summer one for the record books, we offer this “Soaking Up Summer” video of camp highlights.