By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Folks in the Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood spent Saturday improving their community garden.

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Suku John, executive director of East Park Revitalization Alliance, explains his organization, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and Philly Rising, held a community day in the garden across from Strawberry Mansion High School.

“We started this a year ago,” John says, “and we have a waiting list now, so we’re building more beds.”

He says there are tremendous benefits to projects like this.

“Some people call neighborhoods like this a food desert,” John says, “so providing access is one of the things we’re looking to try and solve.”

And John says area kids learn a lot when they garden.

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“There are a lot of children who have no idea where an apple comes from, or where a tomato comes from,” he says. “They’ve just never seen a tomato plant. And I think raising awareness is one of the big things we’re trying to work on.”

John says while many young people seem to have become disconnected from their food, it wasn’t always this way.

“This is a neighborhood that has a bunch of seniors who’ve been growing food in vacant lots for 30, 40 years,” he says, “Everything is undercover, but they’re the experts.”

He hopes his project will educate children, improve health and save people money.

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