The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced 10 grants to support 155 People's Gardens in neighborhoods from Maryland to Hawaii.
These sustainable community gardens will give residents direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods.
A lack of access to fresh and nutritious food fuels obesity and domestic food insecurity—a condition where households experience limited or uncertain access to adequate food.
"The simple act of planting a garden can help unite neighborhoods around a common effort and inspire communities to find solutions to challenges facing our country—from hunger to the environment," said Kathleen Merrigan, agriculture deputy secretary.
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) manages the People's Garden Grant Program (PGGP), with funding from the Agriculture Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
These grants, totaling $725,000, are the first awards given under the PGGP.
USDA received more than 360 proposals requesting more than $4 million.
Projects were funded in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio:
•Homer Soil and Water Conservation District, Alaska, $110,500
•Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, Arizona, $5,000
•Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, California, $29,000
•Denver Urban Gardens, Colorado, $70,000
•Knox Parks, Inc., Connecticut, $50,000
•Heritage Ranch, Inc., Hawaii, $110,500
•Alliance for Community Trees, Inc., Maryland, $150,000
•Towson University, Maryland, $60,000
•Calhoun Conservation District, Michigan, $70,000
•Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Ohio, $70,000
The People's Garden Initiative is a grass-roots effort to grow healthy food, people and communities. There are more than 1,400 People's Gardens across the nation, three U.S. territories and nine foreign countries.
USDA is working with more than 600 local organizations to create school gardens, community gardens and small-scale agriculture projects in urban and rural areas, collectively referred to as community-based agriculture.
People's Gardens are located at faith-based centers, on federal leased or owned property, at schools and other places within communities.
All produce grown at a People's Garden on USDA owned or leased property is donated to help those in need. To date, the People's Garden has donated over 1 million pounds of produce to local food banks, food kitchens and other charitable organizations through the "Share Your Harvest" campaign, whereby USDA invites partners to share their harvests with neighborhood food pantries, kitchens and shelters.
Search the People's Gardens Interactive Map to find out where gardens are located. To learn more or to register your community garden as a People's Garden, visit www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden .