Food Bank Welcomes Yonkers Mayor, Youth Garden To Harvest Awards

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Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and the Food Bank of Westchester will honor several Yonkers teens for their work in the Leake & Watts garden.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and the Food Bank of Westchester will honor several Yonkers teens for their work in the Leake & Watts garden. Photo Credit: Leake & Watts Facebook page

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano will help the Food Bank of Westchester present awards to teens at the Leake & Watts Residential Treatment Center for their efforts in growing and distributing food to thousands of children in need.

The ceremony will take place at 463 Hawthorne Avenue on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Mayor Spano will recognize the efforts of individual teens whom have worked in the garden all spring and summer, making this year’s harvest another tremendous success. The Mayor will then join the Youth Gardeners in harvesting late fall crops from the garden.

At two locations, the Leake & Watts/Food Bank for Westchester Youth Gardens provide approximately 5,000 1-cup servings of food for nearly 1,500 food insecure families across Westchester County each year. The groups also give at-risk youth at Leake & Watts the opportunity to learn important employment readiness skills and experience the value of community service.

“It is exciting to see our students take ownership of the garden and witness the pride that they feel as they see the literal fruits of their efforts when they harvest all the watermelons, tomatoes and other vegetables from the garden,” Leake & Watts Executive Director Alan Mucatel said in a statement. “Most of the kids we serve are all too accustomed to being on the receiving end of community service. It is an extremely empowering and important experience for them to be able to give back and make such a positive impact on their local community.”

Serving teens with cognitive and learning disabilities, behavioral and mental health challenges, histories of abuse and neglect, and/or involvement with the foster care system. The Leake & Watts Residential Treatment Center provides academic, emotional and social support to help teens achieve academic success, graduate from high school and move forward toward post-secondary education and a career.

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