STIIIZY hosts “Grow Where You’re Planted” community event with Michigan Urban Farming Initiative in Detroit, Michigan.
Giving should always be a side effect of growth, and as STIIIZY ventures east to new communities and becomes available on shelves across the country, we have to also spread the love. One of the best ways we know how to do that is through making sure everybody in the neighborhood eats well. So when we found out that many of our neighbors in Detroit are still food insecure, and that over 30,000 Detroiters live in a food desert, we had to act!
Food insecurity is a problem in Detroit that has been persistent for years, but is not uncommon across many urban landscapes in the United States and the world. Food security is the measure of the availability of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious & healthy food and individuals’ ability to access it. In many cases food insecurity comes as a result of an area being considered a food desert, where swaths of the population don’t have readily physical access to a “full-line” grocery store, farmer’s market or other healthy food store alternative.
To combat this problem, neighborhoods need resources that provide fresh food as well as educational access. That’s why we teamed up with our friends at MUFI. The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) is an all-volunteer nonprofit based in the North-End community of Detroit that engages members of the community in sustainable agriculture. Together we hosted the “Grow Where You’re Planted” event: a community initiative to provide local area youths with gardening education at the urban farm run by MUFI, as well as organizing a neighborhood clean up in the North End! A few dozen children attended the event and not only took home a newfound understanding of where their food comes from, but also their very own gardening kit complete with gloves, trowel and a pack of seeds to plant their own fruits and vegetables.
Unique challenges that face urban communities like Detroit provide opportunities for unique solutions like the community-supported agriculture model we see in full effect. The urban farm provides a platform to promote education, sustainability, and bring the community together in an effort to empower every stakeholder.
The acreage may seem modest on this farm nestled in the shadow of downtown Detroit, but the farm yields 20,000 lbs of produce annually and it’s all given back to the community, with priority given to those in the greatest need. Providing access to nutritious food is a major key to improving quality of life and building the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Importance of farming and learning to grow produce should be seen as an empowerment tool; it’s one less dollar a family spends that benefits a big chain grocery store, and one less dollar that hands power to someone else. Growing your own food is a major tool to bond a community and reclaim that power lost.
This is one of many initiatives that STIIIZY and are doing in states we currently reside in – we look forward to more community events with our Michigan family.