STANDARDS

NGSS: Core Idea: ETS1.A, LS4.D

CCSS: Speaking and Listening: 1

TEKS: 6.2E, 7.2E, 8.2E, B.2G

Fighting Food Insecurity

An idea is taking root to help people who struggle to access fresh, nutritious food

AS YOU READ, THINK ABOUT why certain communities are more likely to experience food insecurity.

DOUG HARDEMAN/URBAN FOOD FOREST AT BROWNS MILL

GROWING A FOREST: So far, Browns Mill volunteers have planted more than 2,500 edible plants.

Five years ago, Altanta, Georgia, purchased a 7.6-acre property on Browns Mill Road, less than 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the city’s bustling downtown. The land was overgrown and neglected. After years of hard work, volunteers transformed it into the country’s largest free food forest. This green space is filled with plants that produce fruit, nuts, and vegetables for local residents.

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill was created to help combat food insecurity—the lack of consistent access to affordable, nutritious food. In Georgia, one in six people are currently uncertain where their next meal will come from.

Five years ago, Atlanta, Georgia, bought a 7.6-acre property on Browns Mill Road. It’s less than 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the city’s busy downtown. The land was overgrown and neglected. Volunteers worked hard on the property for years. They turned it into the country’s largest free food forest. This green space is filled with plants that produce fruit, nuts, and vegetables for local people.

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill was created to help fight food insecurity. That’s the lack of regular access to affordable, nutritious food. In Georgia, one in six people aren’t sure where their next meal will come from.

SHANNON LEE/THE CONSERVATION FUND

HELPING OUT: Girl Scouts shovel mulch at a Browns Mill volunteer workday event.

Households suffering from food insecurity often have a limited income, which prevents them from getting the nutritious food they need. Some may also live in areas referred to as food deserts, where there are few or no grocery stores. However, many experts, like J. Olu Baiyewu, the urban agriculture director for the city of Atlanta, believe that the term “food desert” is misleading. The expression does not acknowledge other factors that affect food security, like lack of information about good nutrition and the high price of healthy foods, says Baiyewu.

Food insecurity often hits households with a limited income. That stops them from getting the nutritious food they need. Some may also live in food deserts. These areas have few or no grocery stores. But many experts believe that the term “food desert” is misleading. J. Olu Baiyewu, the urban agriculture director for the city of Atlanta, agrees. That’s because other factors also affect food security. These include lack of information about good nutrition and the high price of healthy foods, says Baiyewu.

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Enter the Browns Mill food forest, where more than 1,000 volunteers come together to plant, harvest, and deliver fresh produce to people in 35 neighborhoods. Today, there are more than 70 free food forests across the country—all created with the goal of improving people’s diets and working to make sure communities don’t go hungry

Enter the Browns Mill food forest. More than 1,000 volunteers work there. They plant, harvest, and deliver fresh produce to people in 35 neighborhoods. Today, there are more than 70 free food forests across the country. They all share the same goal: to improve people’s diets and make sure communities don’t go hungry.  

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