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Volunteers help Howard Community College with garden, food pantry for Juneteenth

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Posted at 4:13 PM, Jun 18, 2024

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — Getting dirty and giving back in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday.

Members of the Black Professional Network at CareFirst helped Howard Community College with their gardening and food pantry.
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"To make sure that we are active and continue to be active in the journey toward equality and freedom, and we continue to take time to really understand what it means to be in a free and equitable society," said Ricardo Johnson with CareFirst.

The garden produces fruits and vegetable for the colleges food pantry.

After a long school year, the TLC is needed.
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"It's going to be incredibly helpful. This is peak garden season and we have so few students that are on campus that would be helping out and volunteering," said Tricia Zadjura, Fueling Dragons Coordinator.

Today, volunteers replenished the mulch, planted new seeds and watered crops.

They also harvested mint.
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"Late spring we were a little concerned like how are we going to harvest this garden and this CareFirst group, first of all they're so happy to be here and they're so gracious and we're just so happy that they're here," said Zadjura.

Students at HCC use the pantry year round.

There aren't any requirements to use the pantry, no questions about how much need you might have.
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"We're seeing about 450-500 students a month. That's when we're open five days a week. In the summer, we have far fewer students that's when we're open three days a week but we're still seeing probably 20 people a day," said Zadjura.

The group is planning more volunteer events in the coming months.