A farm grows in Philly

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In Philadelphia, 1 in 5 residents lack access to enough food to live healthy, active lifestyles – a crisis similarly impacting cities and regions across the country.

Community gardens –  neighborhood institutions as fundamental as parks and libraries in their capacity to provide residents with green, communal space and an oral tradition of nutrition and cultural knowledge – are an often invisible, under-resourced instrument to address issues such as food insecurity.

Are these centers for cultural expression and community-building getting the acknowledgement or more importantly, the support they need to survive in the face of rapid redevelopment?

With support from The Pew Center for Arts, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recently created Farm for the City, to shine a light on the role community gardeners play in strengthening neighborhoods. Located across from City Hall in Center City Philadelphia, the Farm will host educational programming and produce over 1,000 pounds of produce, which will be donated to Broad Street Ministry and its Hospitality Collaborative. The goal is to bring people together from all walks of life to come up with solutions to address food insecurity and bring frontline communities into the larger conversation.

A diverse cast of community, government and non-profit partners are working to address the unprecedented threats (lack of access to land, philanthropic funding, and dedicated, passionate gardeners) facing these gardens. But, a more cohesive, widespread response is needed to preserve their deeply woven legacy and survival.

If you are interested, there is a small group of individuals, representing the efforts of many, that I would like to connect you with to dive deeper into this issue, the Farm, and efforts moving forward. More information can be found here.

Please contact me by email (kfeeley@pennhort.org) or phone (215-988-1631) and we can determine next steps.

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