OSI Citizen Action group iDig2Learn had to adjust quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic, for the benefit of the local community.
When COVID hit her New York City community last spring, it quickly became clear to Christina Delfico that family life was being turned upside down for so many of her friends and neighbors. Determined to do something positive, she developed the idea to create “plant therapy” kits and give them away outside. The plant kits contained local and farm-sourced leafy greens, including bok choy, kale, lettuce, and herbs, and a bag of nutrient-rich compost, created from the past year’s neighborhood food scraps.
In 2012, Delfico founded iDig2Learn, which uses science-based lesson plans to teach children and families about the origin of food through plant life.
“Plants are a gateway to discovering an entire world of living things worth understanding and protecting,” explains Delfico, who with her iDig2Learn team gave away more than 165 home gardening plant therapy kits. “I wanted to figure out a way to comfort people while they were stuck at home and provide an educational activity that brought the family together.”
In response to the plant therapy kit “gift-away,” Delfico received an outpouring of positive feedback from the community, including notes from Roosevelt Island residents who were struggling to adjust to the new pandemic conditions. Nancy Brown sent a particularly thoughtful message saying, “After being in lockdown for six months and feeling depressed, I was so excited to receive a kit and have something alive that I could care for and nurture. I loved it! It really boosted my mood and brought so much joy to my life.”