Planting food in public spaces is already taking root in various spots around the world, such as Copenhagen, Atlanta, and Fargo, North Dakota. To build on this, Change Food® has launched a new program “Plant Eat Share” to raise awareness and motivate other communities to launch similar programs.
Plant Eat Share helps solve many societal problems with the simple act of growing food. For example, the program works to:
- Lessen the effects of COVID-19 by building immunity
- Mitigate climate change
- Reduce food insecurity and hunger
- Increase food sovereignty
- Help solve the growing global health crisis
- Improve quality of life
- Build community and help ease rampant isolation and loneliness
- Build soil health
- Strengthen global food security
- Increase biodiversity
- Provide job skills and training
- Increase demand for healthy, whole, unprocessed food
- Increase understanding of farmers’ hard work
- Reconnect people to the earth
There is no longer time to wait for government, policymakers or top down bureaucrats to solve our problems – we are in crisis, and they are not responding fast enough or at all. We don’t need any more policy wonks, talking heads, or empty assurances of equality and justice – it’s time communities come together to help themselves, one neighbor at a time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only killing people, the disease is also damaging the lungs and organs of a percentage of people that survive. Building one’s immunity through proper nutrition is key to lessening effects of this deadly disease, but communities most affected tend to have little access to healthy food and/or residents can’t afford it. By enabling communities to plant their own food, residents can find ways to feed themselves, and we can solve the issues of access and affordability.
According the NASA, if nothing is done climate change is expected to increase temperatures by 10 degrees – a true catastrophe. Planting food in a regenerative manner traps carbon in the soil and helps mitigate climate change and its effects.
Having food in a town square, public park or church grounds can go a long way to helping curb hunger, end food insecurity, and bring power back to neighborhoods and families. Plant Eat Share will help solve all the problems listed above – now is the time to take action.
Types of Food Sharing
There are different types of food sharing programs, such as:
- Community Gardens
- Food Forests
- Guerilla Gardening
- Public Planting
- Community Fridges
- Seed Saving
Plant Eat Share Goals
Plant Eat Share is a project of nonprofit Change Food®. The goals are to:
- Promote individuals, groups and projects around the world growing and sharing healthy food
- Motivate communities and individuals around the world to replicate, innovate and grow healthy food in their locale
- Change public mindset to understand that healthy food is a human right – if you can’t afford to buy it, you should be able to find it
- Help achieve the relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Change Food is aggregating groups and programs already working in some way to provide healthy food for free to communities, and will eventually host plantings and events in designated areas across the US and world. Plant Eat Share will template and encourage other communities to adapt and replicate these programs, as well as to develop new ways to grow and offer food for free. Our plan is to:
- Develop a free, open-source healthy food database of growing and sharing programs
- Work with cities and local communities to develop the most effective plan for that particular area
- Create templates and “How To” Guides for communities to use
- Host and organize events to raise awareness
- Undertake a national (or global!) awareness raising, social marketing campaign to share resources and make change happen
This is not an effort to put farmers or healthy food companies out of business – it’s quite the opposite! By offering fresh food to anyone in need – or who wants it – we are helping to change bad food habits and reinforce good ones, which, in turn, will increase the demand for healthy food.
In 2018, the country of Denmark handed out 15 million pears, bananas and apples to select schools in the country. A followup study found that this effort was successful in getting children to eat healthier snacks. In 2020, the city of Copenhagen voted to plant fruit trees and bushes around the city in public parks, churchyards and playgrounds. Public foraging goes back to the Middle Ages in Denmark.
While planting food in public spaces isn’t the only solution to fixing our broken food system and other problems that plague the planet, the effort can go a long way to helping restore and regenerate ourselves and the planet.
We’ll be exploring this simple solution and all the bullet points listed above over the next few months. We’ll also be highlighting select groups and individuals who are undertaking efforts to plant, eat and share healthy food – fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds – in public and private spaces for anyone to eat and enjoy. For free.
Would you like to get involved and join us? Sign the Plant Eat Share pledge and commit to helping make this change happen; sign up with Change Food to stay up to date with efforts we undertake; and join our Change Food Now Facebook group to join the discussion and add your voice to this growing phenomenon. You can also donate to help us spread our message further.
Join the movement! #changefood #planteatshare