My project focuses on two sustainable development goals: zero hunger and good health and well-being. It also indirectly promotes two other goals: sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production. For my project, I would like to advocate the importance and benefits of implementing community gardens in your community. I will explain why they are necessary, and how you can initiate putting gardens in your community. Community gardens are plots of land where people can collectively grow fruits and vegetables without needing the space in their own backyard. This would allow families access to cheaper food that’s healthy. It relates to medicine because people would be able to eat healthier food, no matter what socioeconomic class they come from. This would lower rates of hunger, malnourishment, and diseases caused by a lack of healthy food like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
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The Impact of Community Gardens
Fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store or farmer’s market are expensive, making eating healthy hard for people who cannot afford to spend the money. Community gardens make fresh fruits and vegetables inexpensive and accessible to everyone. 56% of people who take advantage of community gardens get the recommended fruit and vegetable servings each day, as opposed to 37% of people who garden at home and just 25% of people who do not garden. Not only do community gardens improve nutrition, but research also shows that they increase physical activity and improve mental health. The surplus fruits and vegetables grown in community gardens can be donated to homeless shelters and other organizations, giving access to healthy food to people who cannot afford their own food.
In a study of community garden users, the benefits they found included:
50% improved community connections
61% created new friendships
65% relaxed while gardening
79% enjoyed being outdoors
90% of households ate more fresh fruits and vegetables
One way to start a community garden in your area is to inform government officials on the benefits and importance of community gardens. This can be writing letters or going to city hall meetings. They do not cost much money to create or keep because the public will be tending them. Additionally, you do not need help from government officials. If space allows it, you can easily put a community garden in your backyard for your neighborhood. After doing some research, I’ve found out that Minneapolis, where I live, already has community gardens. I had never heard of these gardens before, so what I will do is inform people about the gardens and explain why they should be utilizing them. Right now, it is still snowing in Minneapolis, but as soon as the weather is nicer I will visit a few community gardens and try to plant some vegetables. You should do research to see if you have any community gardens in your area and talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about using them.