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Community Gardens: The Facts

This year, as President Obama and Congress work together to enact health reform that reduces health care costs for families, businesses, and government; guarantees choice of doctors, hospitals, and insurance plans; and assures quality affordable health care for all Americans, we hope that you will participate by promoting healthy lifestyles in your community – a key to avoiding costly disease and improving the nation's health.

In 2007, only 21.4% of high school students reported eating fruits and vegetables five or more times daily during the past 7 days.

Community gardens provide access to traditional produce or nutritionally rich foods that may otherwise be unavailable to low-income families and individuals.

Community gardens allow families and individuals, without land of their own, the opportunity to produce food. Oftentimes gardeners take advantage of the experiential knowledge of elders to produce a significant amount of food for the household.

In 1999, fifteen New York gardens that organized as the City Farms program of the group “Just Food” grew close to 11,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruits. Nearly 50 percent was donated to nearby soup kitchens and food pantries. footnote 2

Commit yourself and a team of your friends, family, and neighbors to help increase healthy eating choices for Americans and be part of United We Serve This tool kit will give you the basics to plan a community garden activity, recruit a team, organize your group, and make an impact.

1. (Bremer et al, 2003,p. 54;http://www.cce.ufl.edu/projects/the-depot-avenue/community-gardens/).

2. (Just Food 1999 Summary Report, as cited by Englander, 2001, p. 14).

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