The Neighbors' Place Hoop House Project
Increasing food security is a challenge to most communities across the nation. This is also true for us in Marathon County, Wisconsin. Our organic garden project involves the construction of two hoop houses in the available space behind our building. In addition to 6 staff members we have dozens of regular volunteers who are able to help maintain the hoop houses. The goals for this project are three-fold.
Our primary goal is to increase food security in the community by providing locally grown, organic produce year-round to people in need. Currently, our food bank remains stocked--thanks to generous donations from the community as well as a commodities program through the government. On average, we provide food to more than 3,000 households annually. While fresh produce is available throughout the growing season, the produce selection dwindles in fall and does not pick up again until late spring. Hoop houses would enable us to consistently provide fresh food (greens and other vegetables) to our clients throughout the year.
Our second goal for this project is to provide nutrition education through on-site workshops using produce harvested from the hoop houses. A key component of food security involves understanding how to utilize food in order to maintain a healthy diet. Due to a lack of experience or exposure to fresh produce, a number of clients we serve would benefit from workshops demonstrating how to wash, store, and prepare fresh foods.
Our third goal is to create a jobs program in which we provide meaningful work experience to individuals transitioning out of the penal system or other challenging life situations.
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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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA