There’s nothing quite like walking out your back door and picking the freshest fruits and veggies from your own garden to create delicious, healthy meals for your family. For millions of people in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, though, accessing these important foods is a real challenge. That’s a major reason why we’re seeing a rise in the number of community gardens in both our rural and urban areas. Many of our Community Partners are now incorporating community gardens into their food pantry programs.
There are so many wonderful benefits of eating fresh produce – it’s chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, even hydration. It reduces obesity, improves gastrointestinal and immune health, and strengthens skin, hair, nails, and teeth. Eating fruits and veggies lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and may prevent some types of cancer.
Having an abundance of produce nearby reduces grocery bills and provides healthy foods when people are low on groceries, which helps to further reduce food insecurity. This is particularly important today with inflation and high food costs.
In addition, community gardens promote healthy living – working to plant, maintain, and harvest the food is a great workout and fun for the whole family! A garden grown by a community or neighborhood group provides opportunities for socializing with your neighbors, plus promotes a strong sense of community pride and unity, not to mention, a place to admire a beautiful greenspace.
We recently visited our Community Partner, Bucks County Housing Group, to see their community garden, which is truly flourishing. Check out the feature video we created to learn more about how this organization is making an enormous impact on the area they serve.