Girl Scouts show their community caring

New Milford Cadette Troop 40464 has completed its project to earn the Silver Award, the highest award at the Cadette Girl Scout level.

Hannah Arasim, Becca McGee, Haleigh Avallone, Talia Lent, Jherri Garcia, Skylar Smith and Kristen Kornhaas, who have been in the troop since grade school, bridged Sept. 19 to Senior Girl Scouting.

Throughout the years, the troop has been involved in community service projects, including activities for the town's Social Services department and Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House.

They have held food drives, put together basic-needs bags, made hat and scarf sets, participated in the annual Walk a Mile for a Meal event, reorganized the food pantry set up for dinner service at Loaves & Fishes and made treats to include in their bagged lunches provided daily.

Yet the troop wanted to do more. After much thought, planning and leg work, the Garden of Hope was born.

The girls planted and nurtured a garden at the Pratt Nature Center in town to supplement the town's food bank with fresh, local produce.

Parents and troop leader Janice Lent assisted with the project.

Throughout the spring and summer the girls donated more than 150 pounds of produce.

Enough produce was grown to also donate goods to Loaves & Fishes, and make 20 zucchini breads.

The girls also created a variety of simple, healthy recipes not only including fresh produce but based on a typical weekly food bank allotment per family, and they compiled recipe books to donate to Social Services.