Growing and Gleaning for Food Banks in Central Arkansas

Flyer from Arkansas LocalFood Network

Hunger is a problem throughout the United States, especially in Arkansas which ranks third in the nation for instances of food insecurity.

Access to fresh food is especially difficult for people in low income communities who may not have access to grocery stores providing a regular supply of fresh food. And many fruits and vegetables tend to be some of the highest priced items in the store.

In both Arkansas’s rural and urban areas we have an abundance of land, much of it well-suited for small scale agriculture and gardening. It doesn’t take much space to grow a garden. As we’ve seen with numerous community gardens popping up throughout the city, one vacant lot can produce enough food to feed multiple families for the entire season.

The Society of Saint Andrews, a national gleaning organization helping to fight hunger, is coordinating local growers and volunteers in the central Arkansas area to grow food for local food banks and feeding agencies. They’re calling on community members to donate spaces for gardens and they’ll provide the seeds and the plants.Local volunteers and local food advocates will then come plant, tend, and harvest the garden throughout the season. The food will then be distributed to local agencies which supply food to area food banks.

Do you have a patch of land you’d be willing to denote for the gardening season? If you’re not a land owner, would you be willing to help plant the crops and/or harvest them? If you don’t have land or the time to work the garden, would  you be willing to help spread the word and get others involved?

Anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to attend a planning meeting Saturday January 19th at 11:00 am at Christ Episcopal Church at the corner of Scott and 6th in Little Rock. The event is hosted by the Arkansas LocalFoods Network. For more information contact Josh Hardin at gleanark@endhunger.org.

The Boiled Down Juice is going to be involved at the grassroots level and we hope you will, too!  This could be the beginning of a sustainable solution to hunger in our region.

You can read a past “Seed and the Story” column about gleaning in Arkansas here. 

For those of you living in another region, are there similar things happening in your area? We’d love to hear about them!

Comments

  1. […] few weeks ago we posted about opportunities for gleaning for foodbanks in central Arkansas. After an initial meeting, small-scale growers and volunteers are coming together to organize a […]