Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Homeless Manage Rooftop Garden

C. Coimbra photo

 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.

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.

---Excerpted from Peaceful Warrior

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