Growing Gardens – Planting Food Justice in our Community
With the recent starter plant donation by Rachel’s Table’s Teen Board, seen in the video in this newsletter and shared by WWLP, Rachel’s Table broke ground in a new chapter in its nearly 30-year history by not only rescuing or purchasing food for those in need but supporting people to grow their own food.
Our local communities differ in access to healthy, nutritious food. Some localities are considered food deserts. Food Deserts, according to the Food Empowerment Project, can be described as” geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” Sometimes people don’t have access to transportation at all, and trips to stores are severely limited. Rachel’s Table hopes to help alleviate some of that challenge by providing our 53 agencies, if they choose, with mentoring and material support to grow gardens in which they will include their constituents in building and sustaining, as well as their input on the kinds of food to grow.
Supporting agency gardens allows more choice, autonomy and hopefully dignity for the constituents of the agencies. Some of the agencies Rachel’s Table will start with include those serving elders or people with disabilities. These gardens will include accessible garden beds and tools to help people grow their own food. Some of the agencies include women and children in transition, where growing a garden is seeding a lifelong love of fresh, healthy food.
We are delighted to begin this program and to join in solutions that directly impact those who are most affected by food insecurity. We are proud to seed the future of food security and food justice in the Pioneer Valley.