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This London Catholic school uses its garden to feed homeless

(Vladimir Sukhachev / Shutterstock)

A Catholic school in London has turned its horticulture lessons into meals for the homeless.

St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in northwest London educates nearly 1,000 children, aged 11-18. Many of the students volunteer for social and environmental work.

This year, horticulture students grew pumpkins from seed in the summer term and harvested their fruit in early October. The pupils used the pumpkins, along with thyme from their garden, to make soup. They sent that soup to London’s Ealing Abbey Soup Kitchen, an ecumenical initiative of service for the city’s homeless population.

Ealing Abbey Soup Kitchen has been serving people in need since 1973. The pumpkin-thyme soup provided more than 150 portions.

“I’m really proud of our pupils for sharing the fruits of their labours with those in our community who will benefit the most,” the school’s headteacher, Andrew Prindiville told the UK’s Independent Catholic News website.

The students of St Gregory’s have also been recently involved with environmental projects, among them helping to clean nearby Woodcock Park. Wealdstone Brook, which runs through the park, has had a problem with misconnected water lines dumping waste into the water from some 140 nearby homes.

Thames Water and Friends of Woodcock Park, who worked alongside the students, have been flushing dirty water away from the brook for the past five years. Receiving $1,300 worth of donated flowers, shrubs, and bulbs, the students and other community volunteers were able to revitalize the landscape.

Earlier this year, St Gregory’s Catholic Science College won the Horticultural Society’s School Gardening Team of the year award. The school has also been awarded the Eco Schools Green Flag Award for its commitment to the environment as seen in its curriculum.

The school was nominated for the 2018 Sustainable Schools TES AWARD. Headteacher Andy Prindiville said consideration for that award was an incredible honor.

“This is a wonderful accolade for St Gregory’s as we are one of only eight schools to have been shortlisted and is the result of the hard work and dedication of the staff, governors, local community and pupils of St Gregory’s,” said Prindiville, the Harrow Times reported.