The Issue: Lack of Access to Fresh Produce
Those living in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods often lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables because they cost more than foods with lower nutritional value. Planting food-bearing trees in urban forests can help bring fresh produce to local citizens’ daily diets, and provides the added benefit of offering them an opportunity to connect with the natural environment.
The Campaign: Planting Fruit Trees in Urban Forest
If this Grassroots campaign raises $250, then Trees Forever can purchase and plant 10 potted apple, pear, and cherry trees to kick-start Ellis Urban Village's Food Forest, with all donations matched by an anonymous donor. Each additional $25 raised—in conjunction with a matching donation—will fund another potted fruit tree.
Partnering with Matthew 25 Ministry Hub, Trees Forever will plant the trees in a new food forest located on a 2-acre urban farm in the flood-ravaged Time Check neighborhood. Volunteers will plant hardy semidwarf trees that will be easy to maintain and provide a bountiful harvest. Through Matthew 25’s Neighborhood Meals program, these trees will later provide fruit for local families who may not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables.
All donations will be matched by an anonymous donor. To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will also provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
Trees Forever works with volunteers in local communities to care for trees, native plants, and prairies. Together, they have organized more than 4,000 projects to plant more than 2.8 million trees and shrubs across Iowa and Illinois. The tree plantings, which take place in both rural and urban areas, help improve water and air quality, increase energy conservation, and help restore and beautify the natural environment. The organization’s urban farms, trail enhancement, and disaster-recovery efforts also connect locals to nature and serve as a resource for food and recreation. Another focus of Trees Forever is engaging the public in environmental stewardship. It produces educational materials for this purpose, such as the Spirit of the Trees documentary series, which examines Native Americans’ relationship with trees and forests.