NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. — A Cumberland County non-profit is launching a new program to teach kids about gardening, cooking and healthy eating habits.
Medard’s House is a Christian youth center that offers a free, biweekly afterschool program for about 100 kids a year. The program is named after Medard Kowalski, who died in December 2014 due to a canoeing accident on the Susquehanna River. Children in the program get mentorship, a safe place to hang out and a family-style cooked meal every Tuesday and Thursday.
“A lot of our kids have dealt with rejection, have dealt with abandonment,” said program director Bill Marshall. “So for them to have a place they can come where consistently they know there are people here at Medard’s House that love me, they want to hang out with me, they want to get to know me, they want to support me in what I’m pursuing. That in and of itself makes a huge difference on their outlook in life."
Medard’s House leaders plan to launch a new Garden to Table program in the spring that would allow children to plant, harvest and cook their own food. The new program would require $2,500 for garden and kitchen supplies.
Medard’s House is also hosting a Facebook Live event on Nov. 30 explaining the program and giving a tour of their facility. They are accepting donations for the project as part of Giving Tuesday.