Farming Initiative to Enable Local Diversity & Self-reliance
Some experts call America’s food system flawed while others say it is simply broken. Regardless of what you call it, it is not sustainable and it needs help.
FIELDS is a collaborative partnership program between local non-profit organizations designed to convert vacant properties into growing space and provide fresh food for under-served communities.
The FIELDS mission is to promote self-reliance, alleviate food deserts and reduce nutrition-related illness. This is done by educating communities on the health benefits of eating fresh organic food, teaching residents in the urban environment how to grow and prepare their own fresh food, and introduce ways for residents to join others in becoming a food source for their respective communities.
What is a “Food Desert”?
A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food, in contrast with an area with higher access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh foods, i.e. a food oasis. The designation considers the type and quality of food available to the population, in addition to the accessibility of the food through the size and proximity of the food stores.
In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 23.5 million Americans live in “food deserts”, meaning that they live more than one mile from a supermarket in urban or suburban areas and more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural areas.
Food deserts tend to be inhabited by low-income residents with reduced mobility, this makes them a less attractive market for large supermarket chains. Food deserts lack suppliers of fresh foods, such as meats, fruits ,and vegetables. Instead, the available foods are often processed and high in sugar and fats, which are known contributors to the United States’ obesity epidemic.
Why FIELDS is Needed:
What makes America’s food system unsustainable? One example is seen when a disaster occurs. Grocery store shelves can empty in less than an hour. Another example is how technology controls the logistics of food delivery. Computers manage store inventory by telling other computers what to load on today’s truck shipment of food to stores in every city around the country. If there’s a “hitch-in-the-get-along” and trucks don’t roll, people living in an urban environment don’t eat. What’s more, the majority of what is consumed as food in this country is better described as food-type products, processed with chemicals, fillers and preservatives. These do not provide the basic nutrition we need to acquire and maintain proper health.
How FIELDS Works:
Vacant city properties, along with thousands of apartment complexes, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, provide ample space for FIELDS partners to make a huge local impact. Not to mention the large lawns and unused properties of the private sector that could be used for growing food.
Individuals and entities can donate their unused property to FIELDS partners for development to use as urban farms, community gardens and food forests. The partnering non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to grow fresh food and teach others how to grow food, act together as a coalition to build community and advance self-reliance. They constitute a united front to recruit volunteers, secure funding and oversee each project as educators, consultants and administrators.
Provides fresh healthy food to the community
Promotes health and wellness
Teaches self-reliance and sustainability
Serves as an emergency food supply
Restores soil health
Supports pollinators (bees & butterflies)
Trains food producers to replace aging farmers entering retirement
Please consider being a part of a growing food revolution by making a contribution to the FIELDS partnering organization of your choice, donating property, supplies and/or equipment, volunteering, recruiting others, etc…
For more information about FIELDS and how you can help, please connect with us through our Contact Us page.