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http://www.wbtv.

com/story/12425448/inside-a-charlotte-food-desert
many people who live in food deserts have to go out of their way, taking and paying for
multiple types of transportation and taking time to get to stores with fresh fruits and
vegetables
One solution is community gardens. Mecklenburg offers seven little garden plots
where neighbors can go and for a small fee, grow their own food. But demand is
high. Right now, all Mecklenburg's community gardens are full. So Ebony can't
benefit from that opportunity this year.
But the grassroots effort could be the answer. In Ebony's neighborhood and others
like it, there are small plots of private property that could be converted to
neighborhood gardens.
http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/using-community-gardens-grow-low-incomecommunities-out-food-deserts

A proposal to let SNAP benefits go toward buying produce from community gardens,
where there are often already workers or volunteers
This would hopefully increase accessibility for those who are too busy to garden
themselves
Necessary equipment would be EBT machines or credit card readers with EPT reading
capabilities
Suggested for NYC, but same principles apply to Charlotte
Daniel Bowman Simons organization SNAP Gardens Simon encourages SNAP
beneficiaries to grow their benefits by utilizing a 1973 amendment to the Food
Stamp Act that allows food stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy seeds.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/02/20/why-supermarkets-arent-answer-our-neediestcommunities-0

Make a Green Noise nonprofit in Los Angeles committed to roviing community


gardens
Were working with the city of Compton to get as many properties, abandoned lots,
where we can clean up the place, clean up the blight of the areas, and move in to do
something with those blighted areas, says [Rushelli] Luna (cofounder)
o Ex: plot that used to be a liquor store becomes a veggie garden
These plots are leased for months at a time. The hope is that then someone will become
interested in doing something with the land, and then the nonprofit will move to a new
blighted area.
While there are some food banks and other places that offer fresh foods, people are
unlikely to know how to cook with all of them (ex: eggplant). This shows the
importance of community gardens increasing familiarity with produce and any of their
other educational programs offered.

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/healthyfood/community.htm

CDC lists community gardens as one way local communities can prevent food deserts

Gardens may offer physical and mental health benefits by providing opportunities to
o Eat healthy fresh fruits and vegetables.
o Engage in physical activity, skill building, and creating green space.
o Beautify vacant lots.
o Revitalize communities in industrial areas.
o Revive and beautify public parks.
o Create green rooftops.
o Decrease violence in some neighborhoods, and improve social well-being through
strengthening social connections.

http://billmoyers.com/content/bringing-gardens-to-the-food-desert/

NYC Hands and Heart community garden works in affiliation with a farmers market to
start a small, lucrative business for the growers and provide fresh produce to people in a
low income area.
Diabetes is prevalent in this area, and the community garden helps combat that
Garden is on revitalized land
There are limits on growing: it doesnt operate during the winter
Built community: communication, interaction, friendliness, familiarity between growers
and their regulars
The garden provides the growers (the Wares couple, who have the hard but rewarding
view on the work) with physical exercise.

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=GARDEN_RT1&parentnav=PEOPLES
_GARDEN&navtype=RT

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared the grounds surrounding USDA


Headquarters in Washington, DC the first People's Garden on February 12, 2009 in honor
of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.
A Peoples Garden must benefit the community, be collaborative, and incorporate
sustainable practices.
They exist in all 50 states on faith-based, federally leased, school, or other community
land.
Charlottes Peoples Garden: Thompson Child Development Center at 1645 Clanton Rd
Charlotte, NC 28208 United States
These gardens partner with Ample Harvest to donate all the food grown to those in need,
aka food pantries and shelters

(10140 Providence Rd, Charlotte NC 28277) not in food desert


Anne Wood anniebduck@windstream.net
Hi, Sarah,
We do have community garden plots at Providence Presbyterian. Right now we have about
10 that are being used for personal use and 1 large we we plant for gleaning. All produce from
that garden goes to people who need food.
We do no trent our plots but ask that each gardener donate money to offset the cost of water and
that they donate 10% of their produce to a needy family.

We have a great group of gardeners. Some are members of the church; others are residents from
the nearby community. We have international gardeners as well as people who have lived here
their entire lives.
People grow a variety of vegetables --okra, tomatoes, beans, garlic, some Asian vegetables ,
herbs zucchini and right now we have collards planted in the gleaning garden/
We have folks inquire about getting a plot every spring. I had an email from a woman just last
week. We are limited only by water supply. We have to connect hoses to the faucet about 10
yards away from the garden plots , so our while we have a huge field , the hoses will only go so
far.
Our gleaning garden supplies food pantries and in turn they go to people who don't have the
means to purchase fresh vegetables very often. OUr other garden plots provide space to those
who live in apartments with no space to grow much or to those who live in really shady yards.
Good luck with you research! You are welcome to come visit our garden anytime.
Anne Wood
(2858 Barringer Dr, Charlotte NC 28208=LI and LA at > 1 mi and low vehicle access)
Tempest, Brett
Mon 11/3/2014 7:57 AM
How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden?
16 raised be plots. All are 4X16 .
What is the price for renting a plot in your garden?
$15/year
What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community garden?
We have had a lot of trouble interesting community members in gardening. Although our initial
surveys of the neighborhood indicated that demand would be strong, we have never attracted a
full contingent of gardeners during any year since construction. Community members have a
very positive regard for the garden, but are not interested in utilizing it.
How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition?
Very little. We find it to be more of a recreational experience.
How high is the demand for plots in this community garden?
Very low. Out of 16 beds, we usually only have 3-4 occupied during a season.
Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how?
Our neighborhood is not in a food desert, and the garden has only a very local draw, so there
isnt much impact on people living in food deserts. We plant the beds that are not rented by
community gardeners with vegetables and tend them with non-community based
volunteers. The produce from these is given to Friendship Trays, but is not necessarily
redistributed to people in food deserts.
(1319 N Alexander St, Charlotte NC 28205) LI and LA at and 10 mi and using vehicle access
Ford, Nadine <Nadine.Ford@mecklenburgcountync.gov>
Mon 11/3/2014 8:07 AM
My answer are in blue.
What is your definition of a food desert?
How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden? we dont have plots. Were a
foodshare garden

What is the price for renting a plot in your garden? sweat equity if we had plots
What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community garden? were
family.
How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition? The gardeners take
the food home and eat it.
How high is the demand for plots in this community garden? because we are volunteer base,
there is no demand for plots. We welcome and work with anyone who wants to garden
Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how? We (the gardeners) dont believe this area
has food deserts since there is public transportation. We feel it is another way to classify the have
and the have nots. Our garden is located directly on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. If people
want fresh plant based food, they are always welcomed to come and get it. it may not be
convenient for some, but its there.
Nadine
704 201 2201
Mecklenburg County Solid Waste
www.wipeoutwaste.com
thank you :)
(403 Potts St, Davidson, NC 28036) not in food desert
Eddie Beach <beachclub@mi-connection.com>
Mon 11/3/2014 9:02 AM
Hi Sarah!
My wife and I coordinate the Davidson Community Garden. See below for responses.
The key point to note is that we are a garden that provides fresh produce to a food pantry, not the
type that rents plots. Heres our brochure: Heres the link to the agency we provide:
http://www.adajenkins.org/human/loaves.cfm
Let me know if you have further questions or would like to visit. We have our final work
morning of 2014 this Saturday at 10 a.m. Youd be welcome to join uswear working clothes.
Take care and have fun,
Eddie Beach
How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden? 24 box beds. 8 long rows, and
a flowered periphery.
What is the price for renting a plot in your garden? N/A
What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community
garden? Fantastic! For us, members are our co-volunteers and they have been faithful,
industrious and fun to work with. In addition to our regular Saturday volunteers, we have had
numerous groups from schools, Davidson College, scouts, churches, and businesses.
How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition? Yes through Loaves
and Fishes. We average about a ton of produce donated per year.
How high is the demand for plots in this community garden? N/A

Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how? Through Loaves and Fishes.
(3105 Winterfield Place, Charlotte NC 28205) LI and LA at mi and limited vehicle access

Winterfield Garden <winterfieldgarden@gmail.com>


Mon 11/3/2014 10:31 AM
Hi Sarah, I would be happy to help. My answers are below. Please let me know if you need
anything else.
Heather
How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden? We have 28 10'x10' plots that
I rent out to the community. They are mostly used fro growing veggies and some for herbs and
flowers. We also have a portion of the garden that is for the kids at Winterfield
Elementary. They have approximately 18 2'x10' plots. They learn about growning veggies,
propagating seeds, how to take care of your garden plot and house to use what you grow.
What is the price for renting a plot in your garden? $25 a year.
What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community garden? It has
been great getting to know people from the community that I wouldn't have gotten to know
without the garden. It has been fun learning how to garden together. We have had to work
closely with Parks & Recreation, the Health Department and Winterfield Elementary. It is
important to have these community ties. We have also had some interest from businesses in the
community that have wanted to work with the kids at the garden. Pretty cool to see it come full
circle. One of my favorite things is when we have a work day at the garden. I love seeing
people work together to do something good. Work days hard hard work, but we always have a
blast.
How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition? For some of the
renters the garden is a novelty or hobby just for fun. Some of out renters are able to produce all
the veggies they need for the year. We have even produced enough to donate to Friendship
Trays. For the kids, it is more is learning about veggies and trying things they haven't tried
before. Most of the time a kid will eat anythng they will grow even if they normally will not eat
it at home. I think there is a sense of attachment.
How high is the demand for plots in this community garden? It kind so ebbs and flows. Most of
the time we have all the plots rented out. I usually have one or two people on the waiting
list. When I know that I have a few plots that are available to rent, I will put the word out on
Facebook and to my fellow renters. They will usually get rented quickly.
Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how? Luckily I do not feel like we are in a food
desert, because we have access to fresh fruits and veggies in the near vicinity. I do believe that
the garden has helped educate the children in the community about better eating habits and
getting them excited about vegetables.

( 750 East 9th Street, Charlotte NC 28202) LI and LA at mi


Nancy Duncan <innercitygardens4@gmail.com>
Tue 11/4/2014 2:01 AM
Sara,
Our garden is part of the Friendship Garden Network, and all of our food goes to either Friendship
Trays, Charlotte's meals on wheels nonprofit or to Friendship Gardens' Mobile Market which sells
produce at reduced cost in the main bus depot in downtown Charlotte. Our garden is a teaching
garden and a great place to enjoy fellowship!
Good luck,
Nancy
Many inner-city gardens
Rosalind Shull <rosalind.shull@icloud.com>
Wed 11/5/2014 11:43 AM
Sarah:
Thank you for contacting Charlotte Green. Our organization started in 1991 is the oldest
community garden group in Charlotte.
To answer your questions:
1.We have 8 gardens in 6 inner city neighborhoods. Each garden has different number of plots
ranging from 8 to 14. Our gardens are vegetable gardens.
2.We ask a one time fee of $5.00.
3.Some of our gardeners have been with our organization for 24 years. Each garden has
representatives on our Board of Directors. I have made many good friends. Our mission is to
make the neighborhoods in which the gardens are located stronger through gardening. We have
a garden club which meets one a month. Every garden is represented in our garden club.
4. Not only do the gardens supply nutritional benefits for the families of the gardeners but also
for the neighborhoods. Extra produce goes to shut-ins and also for our program with Novant
Health Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care. Every garden participates in those programs.
5. All garden plots are filled.
6. All of our gardens are in inner city neighborhoods. We have upon occasion worked with the
Society of St. Andrew, a gleaning group that brought produce into our Belmont neighborhood
and the head gardener, Mae Bell Gordon and her gardening group distributed it throughout her
neighborhood. Also extra produce has gone to shut ins and Novant Hospice as stated in the
answer to question 4.
I am going to enclose information concerning Charlotte Green, and if you are interested give me
a call, and we can visit some of the gardens.
( 9700 Mt-Holly Huntersville Road 318 Glenhaven Dr, Charlotte NC 28214
Huntersville NC 28078) none

Eleanora Miller <meleanoram@gmail.com>


Fri 11/7/2014 12:23 AM

Hi Sarah,
I will try to answer your questions. Our garden is in transition, but I can tell you what we did for
2014.
1. How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden?
We currently have 4 raised beds made of stacked pallets (4'x16' each) and 4 raised beds made of
cedar fence pickets (4'x18' each). We grew tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, radishes, lettuces,
greens, herbs, eggplant, carrots, squash, melons, Zinnias and Dahlias. We also had 2 mounded
rows of okra. We had an extra plot of corn that did not do well.
2. What is the price for renting a plot in your garden?
Last spring we decided to all share the beds we have. We charged $10 for a yearly membership
and asked each member to contribute 4 volunteer hours per month in the garden. The produce
was to be shared among members and donated to those in need. We ended up donating most of it
to Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville. I think we sent them about 600 lbs. of
produce between May and November this year. Members did not take much home for personal
use.
3. What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community garden?
I enjoy working in the garden with other members when they can come out. I have had trouble
getting responses from volunteers and members as the year wore on. A few of us have done the
majority of the work. This has been typical in all past years. We start out with a large
enthusiastic group and end up by late summer with just a few committed gardeners. This was
true even when we offered individual plots and ended up with most plots overgrown with weeds.
4. How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition?
I know that our garden has definitely provided good nutritious fresh produce for those who are
fed at the soup kitchen to which we donate. I have seen other gardens, like at Winterfield
Elementary School (the Winterfield/Sheffield Community Garden) that provide nutritious food,
education and connection between the school and community where the community is
benefitting from the fresh food.
5. How high is the demand for plots in this community garden?
Demand for plots is low. We have downsized significantly since 2013. We had to shrink our
garden to a size that could be managed by 3 or 4 people. People seem more interested in growing
for donation than for themselves.
6. Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how?
Yes, see answers regarding donation of produce grown to Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen.
I wish you success with your project.
Peace,
Eleanora Miller
Assurance United Methodist Church

(8801 Grier Rd, Charlotte NC 28215) right on the edge of a food desert, all measurements
Aleatha Kieffer <akieffer1@bellsouth.net>
Fri 11/7/2014 9:11 AM
Hello Sarah,

Mary Moore from Reedy Creek Community Garden forwarded your message to me since I have
been involved in delivering vegetables from the garden to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry at
Plaza United Methodist Church.
Please contact me at 704-707-5554 if it would be helpful to your project to tour our garden or
you need additional information.

How many and what type(s) of plots are available in your garden?
76 plots, plots are 10x20 feet or 20x20 feet. Plots are limited to 2 per family if a second plot is
available. There is normally a waiting list for plots
What is the price for renting a plot in your garden?
$15.00 per plot
What has been your experience interacting with the members of your community garden?
Excellent, sharing of plants seeds, information and coverage for watering when are garden
neighbors are unable to tend their plot for short periods of time. A growing informal gathering
Sunday mornings to share coffee, snacks equipment, laughs.

How have you seen community gardens providing supplemental nutrition?


Several gardeners have commented about their ability to afford fresh produce. A gardener
shared a personal story about being on SSI and not able to afford fresh produce. She believes
that her health has improved as a result of her involvement in the community garden.

How high is the demand for plots in this community garden


There is a waiting list during all seasons. It is especially high in spring.
Have you seen this community garden work in conjunction with efforts to provide fresh fruits
and vegetables to those in food deserts? If so, how?

To date we have delivered 684 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Loaves and Fishes pantry at
Plaza United Methodist Church.
We set out baskets each Tuesday and Friday during the peak season and gardeners place
vegetable they want to share in the basket. The vegetables are delivered to the
pantry. Gardeners can always call if they have additional vegetables to share during the week.
This system benefits the clients at the pantry and helps maintain the garden as extra vegetables
are harvested at peak ripeness and not allowed to rot on the plants. Community gardens have an
ongoing problem with vegetables left on plants, these plants attract rodents.
Good Luck With Your Project,
Aleatha Kieffer
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-theatlas.aspx#.VB7T1EiqwXw
http://foodsecurity.uchicago.edu/research/community-gardens-2/
A study of 766 adults in the city of Flint, Michigan showed that adults who either lived with someone

who participated in community gardens, or who participate in one themselves consumed fruits and
vegetables 1.4 more times per day, and were 3.5 times more likely to have five fruits and vegetables a
day, than those who did not participate
The authors of the study, Vicki Been and Ioan Voicu found that community gardens have statistically
significant positive effects on the values of property within 1,000 feet of the garden

http://friendshiptrays.org/about-us/friendship-gardens/
Friendship Gardens offers educational workshops, volunteer and leadership
opportunities, community connections, and food access to those with limited options.
Beyond the gardens, Friendship Gardens has developed a mobile market to sell fresh
fruits and vegetables in food deserts and are currently working to add SNAP / EBT
access for that service.