Posted on 01 May 2012 by

Garden Reality: One Nation Underfed

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Just recently, a friend of mine sent me a link.

This link leads me to a depressing reality that I see everyday but hope I am just imagining.

I hope I will wake up from this nightmare and find that this horror was just a dream.

But my experience tells me that is not so. One may wonder what this horror is and what it has to do with gardening. Hunger is the nightmare that never seems to die and gardening is the savior whose powers are diminished by urban sprawl.

What one may not realize is that 1 out of 4 children in the United States worry or do not know if there is going to be food. Food for dinner and/or breakfast is on their minds, not reading, writing and math. As President Obama has encouraged all parents to be involved in their children’s’ lives many are burdened by how to feed, clothe and keep a roof over their heads. Sometimes hard choices have to be made and sometimes food loses out to heat or rent.

Every one of us can change this situation. If you think that cannot be done, consider this point. Charlestown, Indiana is a small community with big dreams. Dreams of better water, sidewalks, and healthy living encompass the town’s goals. Last year, breakfast and lunch was served free of charge at the two local elementary schools and the middle school. Anyone k-12 could participate along with those who were older and special needs.

As the summer went on and the economy tanked, an idea began to form. What if we taught kids how to grow their own food during the summer and allowed them to keep what they grew. This gave birth to The Maxwell Project.

The beginning of this year, the project was promoted and sponsors came forward. Each sponsor would spend $10.00 on plant and/or seed for their child’s 4 by 4 foot bed. Believe it or not all 20 beds that were available for the project were sponsored, which means this little community with big dreams will be able to help, on their own, 20 youth.

Just think, if every community did a little project like this to help those in their own backyard, hunger would be reduced or eliminated.

If you do not believe that hunger is a problem in this wonder superpower would we live in, then watch the Sundance film called One Nation Underfed.

For additional information on The Maxwell Project, check us out on Facebook or contact me at Mindar the Gardening Gnome. All gardeners can make a difference, all people can make a change, all it takes is a little effort to make that change.

So until we blog again, follow these lyrics from We shall be free by Garth Brooks, When the last child cries for a crust of bread. When the last man dies for just words that he said. When there’s shelter over the poorest head. We shall be free

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