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Meet Red Hill Farm, which helps teach students in Chester healthy eating

July 29, 2015 Category: Purpose

Red Hill Farm, which is owned by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, is located on 265 acres of woodlands and meadows, some of the last undeveloped land of Delaware County. The six-acre farm, one of the sisters’ many environmental initiatives,  is in its 15th year of production. It provides food for 120 members as well as for the Sisters of St. Francis.

Red Hill Farm currently runs a Student Farm Project, which offers lessons on healthy eating, cooking, plant science and organic farming. Red Hill Farm’s Student Farm Project is offered to the 3rd and 6th graders of Drexel Neumann Academy, a Catholic elementary school in Chester.

Ms. Margaret Lilley, Manager of Red Hill Farm, and Sister Mary Vandergeest, Executive Director of the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, recently received a Community Impact Award from the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia to help run the program.

The Academy is designed to serve as a safe haven for children, educating and preparing them for their high school careers. It also provides them with extracurricular classes, such as those offered at Red Hill Farm.

“They are very excited and eager to learn,” said Ms. Margaret Lilley. “They are all very talented, very adventurous, and we hope that they go home and encourage their parents to cook this way and purchase the ingredients we’re teaching them about.”

“The school is thriving,” said Sr. Mary Vandergeest, Executive Director of the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation. “Some of their early graduates now are going to college and have gotten scholarships.”

Red Hill Farm also runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where local families can purchase shares on the farm to receive fresh produce on a weekly basis. The CSA season runs from early June to mid-November.

Image via Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia

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