Many people today struggle to eat balanced meals, but for some it’s because they simply can’t access fresh produce. This is one reason why community gardens are increasing in popularity, as they provide people with the opportunity to grow and eat healthy, delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Community gardens bring people together at a central location where they work side by side to grow food for their families and neighborhoods. Through this experience, community members directly contribute to the cultivation of foods that nourish their bodies. These gardens provide a fun, educational experience for children and adults alike, teaching them how to care for living plants and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Initiatives such as these are an exciting way to expand the health and wellness efforts of organizations that tackle the high rates of diabetes and obesity among Latinos. The Eastmont Community Garden, for example, has been well received and draws families in East Los Angeles for regular planting, weeding, and harvesting sessions. It is a great way for the Eastmont Community Center to enhance the outreach it conducts through NCLR’s nutrition education program, Comprando rico y sano, which educates people about cost-saving, healthy shopping strategies and the importance of cooking healthy meals at home.
Gardening is a terrific way to teach people how to eat healthily and incorporate the produce they grow into their daily meals. Community gardens also allow families to stretch their budgets. It can be fairly inexpensive to grow fruits and vegetables. Even those with limited budgets can eat nutritious foods on a consistent basis if they grow their own.
Finally, community gardens offer the added benefits of being outside and active. There is no substitute for fresh, nutritious food that you grow yourself, and it is even more fun when you grow it alongside your family, friends, and neighbors!
This blog post is part of Comprando rico y sano, a program supported by the Walmart Foundation and General Mills, Inc.