Make a difference in your community
Food for health
You have probable heard about food deserts.
We hope you don’t live in one. But if you have one around you there are things that can be done to help. This article from the Food Revolution Network has a great Ted talk by Ron Finley, the “Gangsta Gardener.”
South Central Los Angeles in California is notorious for its drive-by shootings, where shooters kill their victims without ever leaving their cars. It’s also the home of numerous drive-through restaurants where people eat fast food without ever leaving their cars.
In this community, why does 2016 Food Revolution Summit speaker Ron Finley say that the drive-throughs are killing more people than the drive-bys?
The Problem for 25.6 Million Americans
Inner city communities often have little or no access to healthy food.
As a result, people who live in these “food deserts” have extremely high rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many other diet-fueled chronic ailments.
A Story to Inspire You and Give You Hope
But here’s one bright beacon of hope. Ron Finley grows not only vegetables but also the very fabric of community itself.
Ron Finley is known as the “gangsta gardener.” He is a globally recognized leader in the movement for healthy food in low-income communities.
On his website, he’s described as “a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root.”
He started an edible garden on the land between the street and the sidewalk in front of his house — which sparked a movement around community gardening.
He feeds the hungry and brings real food and real change to people who need it most.
When you watch this powerful Ron Finley TED Talk from 2013, I am certain you will be deeply inspired to take action for your life, your community, and your world.
“Food is the problem and the solution.” — Ron Finley
If you’re inspired, here are a few things you can do:
- Grow your own food. As Ron says, “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” (Here are some tips for beginners.)
- Start a food forest. (This floating food forest allows people to pick fruits and veggies for free.)
- Identify a problem in your community and take action to make a difference.
- Support organizations bringing healthy food to communities that need it most, like these:
- Wholesome Wave is a nonprofit that secures funding to double the value of food stamps when used to purchase fruits and vegetables. They’re serving more than 500,000 people and 1,400 farmer’s markets in 49 U.S. states (and counting!). Find out if they’re in your community, or make a donation, at wholesomewave.org.
- Opportunity International provides microcredit loans to help millions of people worldwide start businesses and climb out of poverty. Ninety-five percent of their loans go to women, and they boast a 99 percent loan repayment rate. They have a vibrant agricultural loan portfolio that helps build food security and sustainability.
- Planting Justice empowers people impacted by mass social inequality with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing. With a focus on jobs and healthy food, they operate an organic nursery that ships more than 1,100 plants across the U.S., and train budding community leaders to grow, harvest, and prepare healthy food.
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