Developing Neighborhood Agriculture Initiative Gardening for Healthier Communities
We Are Growing Together
The Developing Neighborhood Agriculture (DNA) Initiative’s mission is to support community-based health programs for the indigent, share lessons learned, and build solidarity through global partnerships. ‘Gardening for Healthier Communities’ events combine topical conversations, active working sessions, and farming education to highlight the importance and need for fresh organic produce in highly populated urban areas. Traditionally, this program begins in April and ends in August (the harvest season). Gatherings are held once a month.
Most of our program attendees are adults from the Inland Empire region. Many of them come from communities where there is a shortage of grocery stores and fresh organic fruits and vegetables. This project matters because the nearest grocery stores are not within convenient travel distances and healthy food options are scarce or non-existent. The only option for meals come from fast food restaurants with no healthy menu options. Fast food restaurants seem to exist on every corner in low income communities. But even more prevalent are liquor stores who only offer beer, hard liquor, fattening snacks, and cigarettes.
Hosts set aside segments of our program to focus on assisting volunteers with becoming better-rounded in their choice of healthy food options. The program also intends to teach youth how to be self-reliant as it relates to growing their own food. The ideal workshop discussions also addresses community issues like the ones described above. We rely on the host organization, in this case Huerta Del Valle, to set aside 1 hour to speak to volunteers about the work being done to contribute to stronger, more resilient communities. Educational components are important for us to meet our organization’s goals and the expectation of our donors, grant providers, and sponsors. The remainder of the time (2 hours) is spent applying what is learned by assisting with site projects.
About the D’Andre D. Lampkin Foundation
Our mission is to create positive opportunities and change for individuals, communities, and environments. Our goalis to sponsor and develop programs and initiatives that lead to the development of stronger communities and positively impact individuals wanting to lead happier and healthier lives.