In an effort to help eradicate hunger, One World Center has started the Sustainable Food Initiative which begins with bringing people together to learn to grow their own food. This initiative begins with community gardens, school gardens, and family gardens with the hope of seeing hunger in Michigan eventually eradicated.
Our vision is for people to take a spade in their hands in order to: (1) gain empowerment and self-sufficiency by growing their own organic food; and (2) build a sense of community and togetherness. Poverty can be a very isolating situation and often something people try to hide. We hope to create opportunities and spaces, where people can come together and thus free themselves from the stigma of poverty, while building supportive networks.
The efforts to provide healthy food for those in need is not new. There have been people and organizations lending a helping hand to their communities for decades. Our Sustainable Food Initiative is not trying to “reinvent the wheel” nor do we wish to diminish the impact of those who are already making a difference. If we have learned anything in our 30+ years as an organization, it is that the impact of one group of people may just seem like a drop in a bucket that will never fill; but, if you get enough droplets, the bucket will overflow. It takes a joint and persistent effort of many people to create sustainable, positive change. Alleviating hunger is no small feat. It will require the combined efforts of those who are currently fighting for real food and a wave of new people who are mobilized to join.
The intention of One World Center and our programs is to bridge the gap between old and new. We wish to support established efforts and amplify the efforts mobilizing more people to take part. We have long been partnering with organizations serving communities in Detroit and Benton Harbor, Michigan such as: the Georgia Street Community Collective; Reverend Pinkney and the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO) and for the last few years, The Avenue Family Network. As part of the Sustainable Food Initiative, we have added new partners who focus on providing food for their communities through community gardens.
We believe that when people come together around an important cause, it is possible to overcome obstacles and create the change we need, in this case producing abundant healthy food together with families and communities around our state.