Flagler grows ‘greener’ with Hunger Initiative

By Caroline Young | cyoung1@flagler.edu
Photo by Matthew Boyle

PHOTO CAPTION: Chuck Riffenburg created the proposal for a Flagler College Hunger Initiative. The initiative will grow food for the hungry and homeless in St. Augustine.

Chuck Riffenburg is ready to see Flagler College go “greener.”

Riffenburg is First Chair of Student Government Association’s Green Committee. Along with friend Joshua Currie, Riffenburg created the Flagler College Hunger Initiative. He is also an intern for CitySprout and is helping build the garden boxes in Lincolnville.

“The initiative is for Flagler to work cooperatively with two local religious institutions [Mission of Nombre De Dios and Temple Bet Yam Reform] to grow a large amount of food on plots of land,” Riffenburg said. “When we harvest the food, it will go towards feeding the needy and the hungry in the community.”

FCHI is going to be for the homeless, hungry and needy of St. Augustine. Riffenburg is hoping to work with the St. Francis House and is working with local churches to find out exactly where the people who need financial support are located.

“There are a lot of families near West King and Lincolnville that don’t get to eat a lot of nutritious food,” he said. “We would like to see them be able to get as much as they need.”

Other than helping less fortunate people, Riffenburg strongly desires to spread awareness about where our food is coming from. He wants people to understand that most of the conventionally grown food is a lot less nutritious than it could be and can be detrimental to their health.

He is eager to make people realize that it is unnecessary to have infinite resources to survive and that we will have to learn how to become more self-sustainable in the future.

“I would like to see people stop relying so much on the corporate structures and kind of rely on their independent communities,” Riffenburg said. “We definitely have all the means and abilities to survive and flourish, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be doing so.”

SGA and the administration have approved the garden plot idea and now, Riffenburg is waiting for the go ahead to start building.

The location that Riffenburg and Green Committee members chose is 74 Riberia Street. This lot is next to the Sports Management building. This is where the gardens boxes will go for the FCHI. Also on this location will be a vermicompost bin made by Environmental Science students.

Several people are already on board with FCHI, including Lincolnville’s CitySprout. He would like to see the FCHI boxes built before Christmas.

Now that CitySprout has shown success in the community, students are taking on their own green initiatives and changing our environmental surroundings for the better.

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