To create community gardens in Suffolk that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables to economically disadvantaged citizens of the city and to promote healthy lives through healthy nutrition for all of us.
The Suffolk Community Garden Project was initiated based on the realization that the current recession would have a profound effect on the ability of many Suffolk families to provide nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables for their families. Community gardens have been successful around the country.
We build gardens to build community. We grow fruits and vegetables to grow healthy children and adults. We sow seeds of opportunity, education and activity to yield a harvest of engaged and informed citizens who have access to more affordable, nutritious food. We prioritize to meet the needs of the financially disadvantaged during a period of economic uncertainty. We build a stronger Suffolk.
The Community Garden Project is ideally suited to help address a serious health problem that faces Suffolk and the nation, that of childhood obesity.
There are over 17,000 children in Suffolk age 18 and under. Of these children:
About 18.6% (3,243 children) live below the poverty line (U.S. Census data, 2000);
About 28.5% (4,969 children) live in high poverty neighborhoods;
At least 25% (4,250 children) are deemed obese (estimated from WIC historical data);
Between 16% and 18% of the children ages 2-5 years enrolled in federal-funded WIC Program are obese (WIC historical data).
Childhood obesity takes emotional, physical, and economic tolls on the children and their families.
It also takes social and economic tolls on the community, and increases the burden of healthcare costs due to many factors, including complications and treatment of diabetes, hypertension and related chronic diseases.