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Welcome to

Independence
Gardens

Grow.  Learn.  Eat.  

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Why #freshfood4all

13

million children live in food insecure homes

14.7

million children and adolescents are obese

160

billion is the healthcare cost of hunger and food insecurity

According to a recent USDA report, the number of people living in households with difficulty accessing enough food increased significantly in 2022, reaching 44.2 million—an increase from 33.8 million the previous year. Alarmingly, over 13 million children experienced food insecurity, representing a nearly 45 percent jump from 2021. (Source: https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/107703/err-325.pdf?v=7814.4)

In recent years, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years has been a growing concern. According to data from 2017-2020, the prevalence of obesity stood at 19.7%, impacting approximately 14.7 million children and adolescents nationwide. This concerning trend highlights the importance of addressing not only obesity but also food insecurity and access to fresh, nutritious food. By tackling these interconnected issues, through programs like the Apple Project and The Beanstalk Project, we can work towards ensuring a healthier future for our youth. (Source:  https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html#:~:text=The%20prevalence%20of%20obesity%20was,14.7%20million%20children%20and%20adolescents.)

A study commissioned by Bread for the World Institute sheds light on the significant impact of hunger and food insecurity on healthcare costs. According to their findings, hunger-related issues increased health expenditures in the United States by a staggering $160 billion in the past year alone. This research underscores the urgent need to address food insecurity as a critical determinant of overall health and well-being. By providing children in schools and communities access to fresh food, we tackle hunger, help alleviate human suffering, but also reduce healthcare costs and promote a healthier society for all. (Source:  https://childrenshealthwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/JohnCook_cost_of_hunger_study.pdf)

Healthy food

Bridging the Summer Hunger Gap: Ensuring Fresh Food Access for Children

As the school year ends, food insecurity becomes a critical issue for many families. With the closure of school meal programs, children who rely on these services face a gap in their access to nutritious food. This increased demand often leads to a surge in reliance on food pantries and other community resources. It's the hungriest season, but there are several programs and initiatives designed to help fill the gap and ensure that children have access to fresh, healthy food throughout the summer.

01 

USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals to children during the summer months when school is out. This essential service helps bridge the nutrition gap for many kids who rely on school meals during the academic year. Local organizations, schools, and community centers often serve as meal sites, making it easy for children to access healthy food throughout the summer.  

Find Meals for Kids Site Finder Link

Summer Meal Programs Map-Texas

03

The Beanstalk Project in Local Schools

IThe Beanstalk Project introduces gardening and nutrition education to students by creating school gardens. These gardens provide hands-on learning experiences where children can grow, harvest, and taste fresh produce. The project not only supplies schools with fresh vegetables and fruits but also teaches students the importance of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. 

We are making it possible for year round food access.  

02

Donating to Local Food Pantries

Local food pantries play a crucial role in providing fresh food to families in need. By donating fresh produce, non-perishable items, or monetary contributions, you can help stock the shelves and ensure that everyone in your community has access to nutritious meals. Many food pantries also accept volunteer help, making it another great way to give back and support food security.  At Independence Gardens, 20% of food we grow is donated to a local food pantry.  Here are some items you can donate to your local food pantry:

Peanut butter, Oatmeal, Canned Proteins, Cereal or Cereal bars, Shelf Stable Milk

04

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are another effective way to provide families with fresh food during the summer. By purchasing a CSA subscription, families receive regular deliveries of seasonal produce directly from local farms. This model supports local farmers, ensures access to fresh food, and builds a stronger connection between communities and their food sources.

The Buzz

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INSPIRE, GROWTH, NURTURE, INDIVIDUALS, TRANSFORM, EQUITY

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Bursting with Flavor and Hope: A  Child's Discovery of a Blueberry at Independence Gardens' Come and EAT IT Program

This heartwarming story from Come and EAT IT serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of providing children with access to fresh food in schools and communities.

 

By introducing children to fresh and nutritious foods through programs like Come and EAT IT, we not only spark their curiosity but also cultivate a deep appreciation for healthy eating. However, we must ensure that access to fresh food extends beyond these programs.

 

By providing children with access to fresh food in schools and communities, we create an environment where healthy choices are readily available and easily accessible. This includes establishing school gardens, partnering with local farmers and suppliers, and implementing nutrition education programs.

 

When children have regular access to fresh food, they not only experience the immediate benefits of improved nutrition but also develop lifelong habits that contribute to their overall well-being. They learn to make informed food choices, understand the importance of balanced meals, and develop a taste for wholesome, nourishing ingredients.

 

Moreover, providing children with access to fresh food in schools and communities has a profound impact on their academic performance, behavior, and overall health. It sets the foundation for their growth and development, ensuring they have the necessary nutrients to thrive.

 

By prioritizing and investing in initiatives that bring fresh food into schools and communities, we empower children with the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Every child who gains access to fresh food becomes a catalyst for positive change, influencing their peers and families to prioritize nutrition.

 

Together, let's continue striving to provide children with access to fresh food in schools and communities, creating a healthier and brighter future for generations to come.

This Giving Tuesday (and every Tuesday after!), join Independence Gardens in cultivating positive change! Our mission is to empower communities through access to fresh, nutritious food, innovative educational programs, and sustainable practices. Your support on Giving Tuesday directly contributes to the growth of vibrant community gardens, educational initiatives like our engaging "Come and EAT IT" program, and the promotion of sustainable living. Every donation is a seed planted for a healthier, happier future. Join us in sowing the seeds of positive change this Giving Tuesday! 🌱💚  #GivingTuesday #CultivatingChange #IndependenceGardensant users to know.

Our Partners

Actionable, impactful nutrition education programs that provide schools and communities access to fresh food is made possible by our partners.   Welcome to Independence Gardens.  

#freshfoodforall

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Learning, Growing & Sharing Locally Grown Food.

Access to fresh food is the right of EVERY child.  

Follow #freshfood4all

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