To address food insecurity in our own Pittsburgh community, in partnership with Latino Health Access, ASCI has cultivated a community garden open to residents in surrounding neighborhoods as a resource for families who are food-insecure. The community gardenis a peaceful, therapeutic and protected environment utilized to grow food while strengthening the bonds of community, harvesting not only fruits and vegetables, but also longtime relationships.
Our motto is: Teach me to garden, and I will eat healthy forever.
In 2017, it was reported that 40 million people lived in food-insecure households; 9.7 million adults lived in households with very low food security; 6.5 million children lived in households where both children and adults were food-insecure; and 540,000 children (0.7 percent of the nation’s children) lived in households in which one or more child experienced very low food security.
Food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level. According to Hunger + Health in partnership with Feeding America, most households in urban communities fall victim to this complex issue. It does not exist in isolation, as low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like affordable housing, social isolation, health problems, medical costs and low wages. Many do not have what they need to meet basic needs, and these challenges increase a family’s risk of food insecurity.
Micro-Gardening Is Empowering!
Micro-gardening is the practice of cultivating vegetables, herbs, roots and tubers in small spaces. These small spaces may be balconies, patios, rooftops or small yards, and make use of containers—anything from plastic-lined wooden crates and old car tires to plastic buckets, trash cans and wooden pallets. Micro-gardening is a community-focused solution that embraces collaboration between various sectors that share the concern of food disparity. At the same time, it prepares the youth population to tackle challenges the future may bring.