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Milwaukee's Victory Garden Initiative Turned a Big Idea Into 3,000 Gardens
Naomi Waxman shares the story of the Victory Garden Initiative (VGI), run by Gretchen Mead in Milwaukee. VGI launched in 2008, with a single garden plot, and has since facilitated the creation of 3,000 gardens and a 1.5-acre farm. "The program also provides educational opportunities for children and adults, encouraging residents to learn about the growing process and how best to feed themselves and their families," explains Waxman.
Waxman gives the backstory on the creation of the initiative, which grew out of Mead's career as a social worker in a child and adolescent medical psychiatry unit. Milwaukee, like many places around the country, has many residents considered "food insecure," or struggling to avoid hunger. Many Americans, food insecure or not, typically rely on a diet "laden with processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, wheat and meat products," writes Waxman. Mead calls it SAD, which stands for the standard American diet.
The remainder of the article shares some of the strategies employed by Mead and VGI's partners to spread the word about the benefits of urban gardening and a healthy diet.
Hat tip to Urban Milwaukee for sharing the article.