The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) and American Public Gardens Association have partnered to offer immediate support to established urban food-growing programs at public gardens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the USBG and the Association awarded $378,000 to 28 public gardens across the United States to help sustain urban agriculture and community food-growing during this challenging time.
At the North Carolina Botanical Garden, our two community garden programs, the Carolina Community Garden and Edible Campus UNC, are recipients of this award. These programs serve as campus hubs for food systems education (food production, composting, cooking with fresh ingredients) and provide sustainably grown produce to vulnerable members of the Carolina community.
With the help of this award, our programs will be able to continue to grow and distribute produce to community members who need it, support the work of student interns in need of educational opportunities, and implement online education programming through social media and other platforms until it is safe to gather in person.
The Carolina Community Garden currently donates all produce to staff at the UNC Medical Center with the help of volunteers from the Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps. And with most students and staff away from campus, Edible Campus produce is going directly to Carolina Cupboard, the on-campus food pantry that provides food at no cost to students facing food insecurity.