News / Health

    Program Provides Food, Farming Education to Urban Poor

    Program Provides Food, Farming Education to Urban Poori
    X
    December 13, 2013 10:14 PM
    In many U.S. inner-city neighborhoods, residents live in what is often referred to as a "food desert" - with few options for easy access to healthy foods. As VOA's Ariadne Budianto reports, though, one organization in Washington is trying to help residents of one such neighborhood create their own nutrition oasis.
    Ariadne Budianto
    In many U.S. inner-city neighborhoods, residents live in what is often referred to as a "food desert" - with few options for easy access to healthy foods. One organization in Washington, however, is trying to help residents of one such neighborhood create their own nutrition oasis.

    In Washington's historic LeDroit Park neighborhood, finding fresh food that is affordable can be challenging. About a third of its residents live in poverty, while the nearest grocery store is more than 1.5 kilometers away. But a community farm is trying to resolve it by providing food, as well as education through various programs on food production, healthy eating and environmental sustainability.

    "Not only do they know how to grow their own food, we start from seed to harvest to weeding, composting," said Anita Adalja, the farm's manager. "There are workshops on canning food preservation, beekeeping, herbalism, health and nutrition. So not only do they get to educate themselves on that process of food system, but we also distribute up to 15 lbs [6.8 kilograms] of produce [per week, per family]."

    Since 2007, Common Good City Farm has taught more than 1,100 residents in its workshops, engaged more than 2,000 school children and recruited more than 2,500 volunteers. Farm manager Adalja said that in 2013, the farm provided more than 2,200 kilograms [5,200 pounds] of fresh fruits and vegetables to the community.

    "At Common Good we tried to stick to 85-15, so 85 percent of the food we grow are distributed within the community, then 15 percent we sell to local restaurants and a mobile farmers' market that comes once a week," she said.

    Seeds are donated by companies and also harvested from the farm’s greenhouse. Community members, staff and volunteers grow them in a garden built on an abandoned baseball field.

    Cassie Hoffman likes the idea of an urban garden that not only is beneficial to the community,  but also to the participants.

    "I can spend an hour cutting salad greens and slip into a purely meditative state where I’m not even thinking about anything in particular," she said. "I kind of like it, just because I do a lot of research and number crunching [mathematical], in front of the computer a lot, so I kind of enjoy the peace."

    Fifteen-year-old Eliamani Ismail has been volunteering for more than two years. She believes the community around the farm will enjoy a healthier life.

    "I think it’s absolutely fantastic," she said. "They really teach people about how their food gets to them and how to properly eat and properly grow things, and that’s what a lot of, especially Americans, need nowadays because we have the obesity problem."

    And cultivating healthy habits requires an early start. Youth coordinator Elizabeth Packer takes children to harvest eggplants they grew a few months ago. In the outdoor kitchen, they cook eggplant parmigiana, which instantly becomes a favorite.

    Common Good City Farm hopes to serve as a model community-based urban food system while helping LeDroit park residents achieve a healthier lifestyle.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora