50 million Americans are food insecure. This means that even though the United States is one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, a staggering number of people simply don’t have enough to eat… And one of the hardest hit populations are single parents and their children.
None of us can change the world and none of us can end hunger alone, but we can change the world of a few people in our community and create a positive ripple from there. That’s why we’ve started Gardens for Single Moms.
The mission of Gardens for Single Moms is very simple: to help single moms grow their own organic, healthy food for their families. Single parents are often short on time and resources to build and maintain their own gardens, so part of our mission is to help them get started and teach them how to sustainably grow food. We turn a portion of their unused lawn into an abundant garden with healthy veggies, healing herbs, bountiful fruit trees and fragrant flowers.
Through the help of volunteers in the community, we installed the gardens and then maintained them for the first season until they were established and easier to take care of. Community volunteer days allowed us to put the hard work into establishing each garden. During the first season we spent time in the garden with the families to teach them how to grow and harvest their own food.
The gardens don’t just produce food though. They serve as a calming sanctuary for the family and as habitat for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies and native critters. They produce empowerment, helping families to take their health back from the industrial, globalized food system and put the power into their own hands, right in their own front yards. They empower moms to provide organic, healthy food to their kids, creating a foundation for their future. They produce a connection to our food and to the earth that gives us life and help the families to live with more happiness, health, and sustainability.
Through Gardens for Single Moms we aim to play a small role in the movement of food freedom. We launched this program in spring of 2018 with five families in Orlando, Florida.
Meet some of the moms!
This is Theresa. She works with children and enjoys teaching them about our natural world through experiments and hands-on learning.
“When I was gifted a garden from this program I had just lost my husband. My daughter Lanore and I now have a 20×20 garden where we enjoy trying new plant foods like Cranberry Hibiscus and African Blue Basil. I have even been able to share with co-workers and neighbors. We are also lucky enough to have a front yard orchard through Community Fruit Trees and we can’t wait until they start producing! It has been a great journey so far.”
This is Randi. She has two sons and has a garden that was planted in the grassy strip between her and her neighbor’s driveway. We are happy to say it is thriving!
“Watering my garden in the mornings brings me peace, and sharing the healthy foods growing in my garden with family and friends brings me great joy. I am honored to tend to one of the Gardens for Single Moms.”
This is Jen. She works as a nurse while taking care of her daughter and son. Jen’s house turned into the headquarters for Gardens for Single Moms and is teeming with life. She is seen here in front of her abundant passion fruit vine!
“Gardens for Single Moms has been a transformative experience. Through it we have become more active participants in our community. We have learned that we can have access to healthy, healing foods right in our front yard without spending a ton of money. And as a mother, I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to see my daughter pointing out budding fruit on her favorite trees and chasing butterflies in the yard. It’s incredible!”