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Centre County YMCA opens new farm in West Decatur to help fight hunger

YMCA new farm
Mel Curtis
The Centre County YMCA has begun plowing and tilling its new farm in West Decatur.

The Centre County YMCA is starting a farm to add to its anti-hunger efforts in West Decatur, just over the line into Clearfield County.

YMCA Anti-Hunger Program Director Mel Curtis said they just started plowing the fields and tilling the new farm about nine miles west of Philipsburg. Curtis said having fresh fruits and vegetables will be a great new addition to the YMCA’s anti-hunger initiatives.

“As we grow food and as we’re able to take it and harvest it, we’re gonna give that out to families that need fresh fruits and vegetables. We’re gonna take it out on the bus, the Traveling Table, and we’re gonna let kids take it,” Curtis said.

Curtis has many plans for the farm including an annual fall festival. The proceeds will help sustain the farm. He said the farm will also serve educational and mental health purposes.

YMCA farm
Mel Curtis
YMCA's new farm is located nine miles outside of Philipsburg in Morgan Run in West Decatur

“Fruits and vegetables are so important for mental growth and physical growth. If children aren’t getting those nutrients out of those things, it’s a lot harder for them,” said Curtis.

The farm will also feature a large field of sunflowers to promote mental health. Curtis said a long-term goal is to teach kids how to garden and cook different types of vegetables.