Most of the fresh produce in the U.S. is harvested by migrant labor. Their farmworker communities often face food insecurity compounded by extreme poverty, discrimination and legal residence issues. Ironically, those who harvest our food often do not have enough food to eat.
Hunger in a Farming Town
Immokalee, Florida, a small farming town, supplies more than 2/3rds of America’s wintertime tomatoes and other crops and yet has a poverty rate of almost 45%. The economic and food access challenges of many Immokalee residents are rooted in their migrant worker status. In addition to food access challenges, the inferior quality of the cheapest or often highly processed free food, raises the risk of hidden hunger and nutrient insecurity. Caused by a chronic lack of vitamins and minerals, hidden hunger is reportedly a growing problem in the US, particularly among low- and middle-income Americans who struggle to access or afford the extra cost of essential nutrition.
Food Grown. Food Shared.
The mission of Cultivate Abundance is to address the cruel irony of food insecurity among those who harvest our food. We do this by mobilizing appropriate resources to eliminate hunger and enable small-scale food production to overcome food insecurity among low income farmworker communities. Doorstep Gardens (container gardens) grown in 5-gallon buckets and tubs, can provide farmworker households in cramped trailer parks with leafy greens and other vegetables just outside their doors. Community gardens offer access to fruits and vegetables of preference to farmworker families. In addition, shared fruits and vegetables from area gardeners provides fresh food to supplement other food assistance.
Too Old to be Hired
Immokalee’s elderly and disabled farmworkers are at particular risk of nutrient insecurity. Those who spent years planting, tending and harvesting our food are often discarded when they are deemed too old to put in a full day of hard labor. As many of these former farmworkers find themselves stuck without any income due to their immigration status, they struggle to find shelter and food. Portable container gardens are shared among elderly former farmworkers living in extreme poverty. These gardens, planted in basins and distributed by local farmworker residents, offer elderly residents immediate access to pickable greens to supplement their diets. In addition to providing access to prefered, nutritious vegetables, the project leverages cultural respect for elders as the foundation of community accountability and mutual support.
The funds raised in this challenge will go towards expanding the reach of the Portable Gardens to improve nutrient security for elderly and disabled farmworkers as well as similar Doorstep Gardens for other farmworker families.
Will you join us in honoring those who harvest our food?
Your support in this challenge helps ensure that those who plant, tend and harvest our food can share in the abundance.
To learn more about Cultivate Abundance and our work please visit www.cultivateabundance.org.