As of 2014, 48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, that means 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children are unsure how they'll get their next meal. While people tend to assume hunger is not an issue in the United States, this is far from true. Thankfully, some communities are striving to combat hunger in innovative ways outside the confines of homeless shelters.
Seattle, Washington has developed what's known as Beacon Food Forest, a 7-acre forest full of trees and bushes overflowing with delicious fruits and vegetables. The park not only offers a solution to hunger, but also helps resolve other social and environmental issues. Anyone is welcome to come take food from the uniquely edible forest, located across the way from Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. In exchange, locals (and tourists) are encouraged to help plant plots of land.
"The goal of the Beacon Food Forest is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem."
People from all walks of life are thoroughly enjoying eating here, as well as helping to further plant and develop the land with edible goods.
The original plans for the Beacon Food Forest looked like this:
Today, those plans have come to fruition in the most beautiful (and delicious) of ways.
The neighborhoods surrounding Beacon Hill are incredibly diverse. Those behind the edible plot of public land hope it helps bring together community members. Other goals include improving local ecosystems and public health, all while educating locals about climate impact and food production.
The project originally broke ground in July of 2012.
According to Glenn Herlihy, a committee member for the project, "It's a food system being developed in a neighborhood that's looking for more self-reliance. It's getting people together by having a common denominator: soil."
Learn more @ beaconfoodforest.org