- Urban farms supply food to about 700 million city dwellers — one-quarter of the world’s urban population.
- Urban agriculture provides an inexpensive source of nutritious food.
- An area of just three square feet can provide 44 pounds of food each year.
- Food grown in people’s yards means less transport and refrigeration costs and emissions — this makes food grown in urban farms more sustainable and competitive in many cases.
- Green spaces have been proven to also reduce air pollution.
Biologist Clayton Ferrara has a dream: “I want to farm the moon with SpaceX.” But for now, he’ll settle for your front yard.
As part of our mission to create a hunger-free world and our Pledge to Sustainability, Feeding Children Everywhere (FCE) is embarking on a joint venture with Ferrara and the team from IDEAS for Us (IDEAS) to expand Fleet Farming throughout food deserts nationwide. An official announcement will take place on Earth Day Eve at our Central Florida headquarters, where Hunger Heroes will celebrate by packaging 40,000 healthy meals for hungry children.
Fleet Farming strives to reduce the environmental impact of food production through microfarming. Activating a fleet of “bike-powered” volunteers, this joint venture will turn people’s front yards into organic farmlettes. Volunteers plant and harvest the food and give a portion to the homeowners. The rest goes back to the local community, to farmer’s markets, restaurants and food pantries.
The connection between microfarming and fighting hunger is clear, says Dave Green, CEO at FCE — particularly in food deserts, low-income communities that don’t have sufficient access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.
“It’s a way to turn food deserts into food producers,” Green explains. “When food production happens, there’s empowerment, healthy eating and lifestyle changes in an entire community.”
“There’s a poverty of spirit that exists with the absence of knowing where your food comes from,” Ferrara adds. “People are happiest when they have a connection to their local food economy.”
The new partnership includes bringing on a full-time Fleet Farming director and part-time farm manager to support the incubation and acceleration of Fleet Farming in urban food deserts, helping to fight hunger with healthy eating.
Green concludes, “We’ve got to come up with more efficient, more sustainable ways to produce food. Because if we have more efficient food systems, we produce more nutrition. The more we can do that at a local level, the closer we get to creating a hunger-free world.”Check Out the Pledge