"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

Sharing the Bounty

By Associate Dave Scharfenberger

Pam Korte and her husband, Richard Hague, are joining together with others to provide fresh produce for food pantries in Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Pam Korte, an Associate with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, is the first to admit that she is not a gardener. Her husband, Richard (Dick) Hague, is the gardener in the family. But, living in Madisonville (Cincinnati, Ohio), Pam has seen the benefits of addressing the need. Dick’s efforts to empower others to learn to garden to provide food to feed their families is an extension of his teaching career. Dick has gardened for 44 years and was instrumental in starting gardens in Madisonville and East Walnut Hills by Purcell Marian High School.

When Pam joined the Sisters of Charity Justice Circle to address poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, she knew the issues could be overwhelming. She wondered what members of this Justice Circle could do to address the many aspects of these issues. They got involved in advocacy, writing letters to their legislators. Pam felt that they could do more. 

“We started the Grow More Effort to provide fresh produce for food pantries in the neighborhoods,” Pam explained. Members of this Circle were already aware of several food pantries or agencies that served people who were affected by poverty such as: the Good Samaritan Free Health Center in East Price Hill where S. Annie Klapheke works as a nutritionist; Community Matters where S. Mary Ann Humbert volunteers; and Mercy Neighborhood Services in East Walnut Hills where Pam and Dick already had a connection. This is a project that can be engaged in wherever Sisters and Associates live.

“From living in Madisonville, I have seen the needs caused by poverty and witnessed ways to address those needs,” Pam said. EarthConnection was growing food and already donating food to the health clinic in Price Hill. There are gardens at the Motherhouse where produce goes to Lower Price Hill. Pam’s husband, Dick, decided to dedicate the surplus from his garden.

“Not all of us in this Justice Circle can garden but we can encourage others to increase their produce,” Pam asserted. “We are empowering, using existing resources, and donating surplus produce to provide fresh food, meeting the need of food insecurity.” As they grew more, they reached more people. “We have developed a small way to address poverty,” said Pam. “Now we want to be able to measure exactly how much we are contributing.” The Justice Circle wants to build on what they have learned and increase their impact in the future. 

Pam always felt at home with the Sisters of Charity as she had worked with several Sisters when she taught at Mount St. Joseph University. She became an Associate as she loved their commitment to living out the gospel and working for social justice. Pam joined this Justice Circle because she sees it as a way for the Charity Community (Sisters and Associates) to expand and reach out to the community, addressing suffering and injustice. 

Pam felt that the Grow More Effort made sense and reflected some of her values. “The garden work is a reflection of our marriage to each other and to the community in which we’ve lived for 42 years.” She likes how it empowers others, enables others to make a difference and addresses a key social justice issue. Plus, they have started something that they can build on.  

Produce from the Hague garden has been delivered to Mercy Neighborhood Services in East Walnut Hills for their food pantry.

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