Marymount California University (MCU) students and the Office of Sustainability have spent two years preparing a campus garden project that will launch in January 2014. We have permission to transform over 6,000 square feet of our main campus into an organic fruit and vegetable garden. For the first phase of the project we will plant 18 container garden beds (2' x 4'), a living herb wall (2' x 18'), 6-8 fruit trees, and create seating and work areas for volunteer events. The GROW Project GARDEN will help RESTORE our relationship with our environment, food systems, and with each other; OUTREACH through service and community partnerships; and promote WELLNESS through healthy diets, balanced living, and reflection. The central goals of the garden project are to: 1) Demonstrate more sustainable agricultural production practices; 2) Connect the campus community with each other and with their food system through service and educational programming; 3) Provide a space for reflection and relaxation on campus and; 4) Donate harvest to people who are in need. A portion of the harvest will be featured in the on-campus café to help student diners (approximately 700 people a day) connect with how 'real food' is grown and enjoyed. Eighty percent of our students receive financial assistance, and over forty percent are federal Pell Grant recipients. About a quarter of our students are from urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and have had limited exposure to local, healthy food systems. The majority of the harvest will be donated to Harbor Interfaith (currently serving about 18,000 people a year) and other local agencies that support the homeless and working poor in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles. San Pedro is denoted by the state of California as a redevelopment area with blight, economic need, and 13.4 percent unemployment.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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