Monday, February 22, 2021 marked a day that many thought would not happen. Nine bags of freshly grown lettuce arrived at the pantry. The delivery person, Maile Ley Villa, a 7th grade student at FDL STEM Academy was the harbinger of spring.

Maile became a friend of Fondy Food Pantry during the Farmers Market season where she and her Grandmother visit weekly. Naturally vivacious, Maile made quick friendswith Pantry volunteers who are present at the market to accept donations of garden-fresh produce for the Pantry.

She saw what was happening and instinctively decided she could help by being the liaison between the growers and the pantry.

With her wagon Maile was there most Saturdays making produce happen for the Pantry.

But Maile’s friendship with the pantry did not stop at the end of the summer. As a student of the STEM Academy, Maile became acquainted with the Hydroponic Growth Towers.

A year ago there was to be an exciting partnership betweenF ondy Food Pantry and FDL STEM Academy that would have helped “stock the shelves” with fresh lettuce, spinach, herbs from two recently delivered Hydroponic Growth Towers, sponsored by Grande Cheese and Fondy Food Pantry. Principal Tim Scottberg and the STEM students were excited about the new initiative. Almost immediately however the project was stalled by COVID-19 and all gardening activity came to rest because of a year filled with the changes presented by the pandemic.

Seeing Maile with her nine bags of lettuce was indeed the first robin of the season. Thank you Maile and keep up your focus in your studies and your volunteer action for Fondy Food Pantry. Your pantry friends look forward to seeing you and your friends on Main Street in just a few short months.

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