The Urban Farm Project and its Plant to Give Gardens are collaborative efforts with other non-profit organizations/schools, local businesses, farmers, and community groups. These projects help create community relationships and an understanding of how people with special needs can make valuable contributions. Plant to Give Gardens help encourage integration and acceptance into the community, and give participants a higher sense of personal value and meaning. Each garden and urban farm project is an interactive learning experience that provides vocational training opportunities, rehabilitative benefits, and social connections.
The Urban Farm Project is an initiative that gives people with disabilities an opportunity to use their skills and resources to plant vegetable gardens in their own backyards and on properties operated by non -profit groups. These Plant to Give Gardens are cared for and harvested by people with special needs, and the food is then donated to help feed underprivileged and under-served families, veterans, men and women in the community who are living in shelters or frequenting food pantries for their meals. The participants tend the garden through the growing season, watering, weeding, and nurturing the plants until they are ready to harvest. Once harvested, the participants make community connections with those most in need and donate vegetables so that under-served families, veterans or elderly members in the community can benefit from fresh, organically grown vegetables that they may not have been able to afford or have access to.
What makes our program so unique and worthy of support and attention is that the people who are doing the planting and giving are disabled children and adults who have historically been on the receiving end of charity. This is now an opportunity for our gardeners to give back and show their gratitude, generosity, and humanity to people in their community who are in need as well. Additionally, the Plant to Give Gardens and Urban Farm Projects are also supporting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for people with disabilities who are in need of learning healthy eating lifestyles. While each project is committed to donating a percentage of its harvest to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charitable organizations that help feed those in need, the remaining portion of the harvest is used to teach sustainable and healthy living habits In addition these individuals can continue to pursue the goal of vocational and work opportunities as urban farmers and community gardeners.
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