Purple hearts – Girl Scouts make special deliveryMembers of Decatur Girl Scout Troop Decatur Troop 28433 visited resident Eli Dodson on Aug. 1 as part of the Purple Farmer's Market project. Photo submitted by Sgt. Jennifer Ross
Olivia Phillips-Waldorf, an eighth grade student at Renfroe Middle School, needed a project to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award, and she had an idea.
Waldorf is a member of Decatur Troop 28433.
“My mom grows vegetables in her garden,” Waldorf said. “Last summer she had an abundance of cucumbers.”
That left her with the problem of what to do with extra cucumbers. Waldorf talked it over with City of Decatur Volunteer Coordinator LeeAnn Harvey, who heads up the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project, which helps needy seniors. That was the genesis of the Purple Farmer’s Market, a delivery service that brings extra produce to seniors in Decatur who have trouble making trips to the grocery store.
In addition to gathering up the excess from local gardens, Waldorf also got donations from the Kroger on North Decatur Road. Throughout the summer, the Girl Scouts turned the care packages over to Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross who got the bags out to seniors in the community. The bags came with little recipe cards, too. Waldorf said the name Purple Farmer’s Market happened organically.
“For our mascot, what we actually had is a purple radish I drew up,” she said. “It helps that the bags that we get from Kroger are purple.”
Waldorf said this summer bags went out to about 40 Decatur seniors.
While Ross has acted as the Troop’s courier, on Aug. 1 the Girl Scouts got to meet some of the seniors in person.
One of the recipients was Eli Dodson, who needs a wheelchair to get around. He cooked a meal that evening.
“Man, they were great,” he said. “They need to do that all the time. That needs to be their jobs. I enjoyed it.”
Waldorf said she wants to continue the program next summer and pass it along to younger troop members.
“This summer, I put my plan into motion,” she said. “We’re planning to do it next summer and pass on the project to a younger troop, so it needs to be sustainable.”