Below is an excerpt from the story “A Garden Is The Frontline In The Fight Against Racial Inequality And Disease”
There is a garden growing on the frontline in the fight against racial inequality and disease in Minneapolis. In a city where there is a significant lack of fresh food in communities primarily inhabited by People of Color (POC) this lack of access became worse after this summers’ protests damaged and shut down the only full-service grocery store within a 3-mile radius of North Minneapolis. There is already evidence that this is compounding chronic health conditions like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes — all linked to a poor diet —putting people at higher risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.
A group called Appetite for Change is trying to lead the community down a different path, teaching others to grow their way to healthy food. Co-founder Princess Haley, a teacher, says the mission is to improve the local diet. During the pandemic, the group has been harvesting artichokes and leafy greens to supply boxes of free produce every week to 300 local families from a community garden the size of a soccer field.
One of Haley’s converts is 17-year-old Carl Childs, who shows me how to properly pluck fronds of Dino kale so as not to damage the plant. Childs says he wants to become a dental hygienist one day. He discovered a love of snap peas working after school with Appetite for Change, and lately feels huge satisfaction providing produce to those who otherwise can’t access it.
His story is not unique. Read the full story about the many lives being changed and that will be changed by this and similar efforts at NPR.org.