The Issue: Urban Gardening's Health Benefits
In St. Louis, more than 17% of households experienced food uncertainty in 2010, according to the Missouri Hunger Atlas report assembled by the University of Missouri. These families don't always know where their next meal will come from. Also, according to data from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, nearly 65% of adult residents were overweight or obese, 87% consumed fewer than five fruits or vegetables per day, and more than 23% failed to participate in leisure-time physical activity in 2011. Yet gardens located in urban settings can have a profound impact on the well-being of a community. They provide residents with nutritious food and exercise, and can help to keep abandon properties from falling into disrepair.
The Campaign: Soil and Mulch for Urban Gardens
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Gateway Greening to provide soil and mulch for urban gardens in St. Louis. For every $40 raised, Gateway Greening can purchase soil and mulch for one garden bed. The organization hopes to add or expand gardens in 22 communities throughout the St. Louis area, granting access to nutritious produce for 80–100 additional gardeners. Each bed grows food for the individual or family who works it, producing roughly 50 pounds of fresh produce per year.
The green thumbs at Gateway Greening believe in the power of a garden. For nearly three decades they have promoted gardening in both public spaces and private backyards as a solution to urban issues ranging from food insecurity to sedentary lifestyles. Through a citywide network of more than 200 gardens—including community vegetable gardens, tree and shrub plantings, and street beautification projects—the organization brings fresh food to the community, teaches hands-on lessons, and uses empty space in a positive way. Member gardeners can attend educational workshops on garden care, watering, and landscaping principles, and take advantage of assistance with project planning and procurement of materials.
Other key Gateway Greening programs work with specific populations to encourage self-sufficiency. The City Seeds Urban Farm, provides job training to individuals experiencing homelessness and distributes fresh, locally grown produce to nearby food pantries. Also youth gardens supported by Gateway Greening dot the grounds of more than 60 local schools.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassrootsblog.