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Homeless People Plant a Huge Organic Garden, and Feed an Entire Shelter

A homeless shelter in Atlanta decided that their residents desperately needed access to healthy food—but instead of sourcing out, encouraged residents to grow their own.
By Heather Dockray / magazine.good.is
Aug 7, 2015
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Homeless People Plant a Huge Organic Garden, and Feed an Entire Shelter

Organic vegetables and community gardens are typically associated with well-meaning, tote bag-carrying, volunteer at the Coop (and never miss a shift) types. But good, local, nutritious food shouldn’t be expensive, and shouldn’t only be enjoyed by people who can afford it.  A homeless shelter in Atlanta decided that their residents desperately needed access to healthy food—but instead of sourcing out, encouraged residents to grow their own. Now, the shelter is home to a huge rooftop garden planted by the residents themselves, which is expected to yield hundreds of pounds of great quality greens.

Eating healthy costs the average American an extra $550 dollars per year, with processed meats and snacks often priced disproportionately cheap. While eating discounted snacks might give homeless residents short-term financial benefits, the long-term health consequences are substantial. The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, who runs the gardening program, wanted to give homeless people access to food previously considered out-of-reach. Now, residents are responsible for 80 garden beds, producing kale, carrots, chard, and squash, among other vegetables. A full meal, featuring freshly produced greens, is available on site every day.

Outside of the garden, the Task Force also provides a transitional shelter, a 24-hour hotline, and casework services.  Residents who participate in the gardening program also learn certifiable gardening and marketing skills—which the Task Force believes may help them find future jobs. To learn more about the organization and their awesome work, check out their site here.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

And, since there's still so much to learn about that isn't featured in a film, we've also curated 4,000 articles.

To dive in, click the Explore button to sort content by most viewedtop-rated, or newest first, as well as filter content by languagecountry, content type, and 34 topics such as foodsustainabilityeconomicssolutions or big ideas.

 

“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21