What is Let it Grow?
“Let it Grow” refers to a variety of tactics that the JLD is employing to help address food-insecurity in the Twin Ports.
Junior League of Duluth’s goal is to build a coalition of Community Partners with shared vision and resources to establish a food secure community through empowerment, enrichment and education.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity is the most broadly-used measure of food deprivation in the United States. For the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), food insecurity means that “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
How many people are affected by food insecurity?
In 2013, St Louis County, with a population of 200,327, experienced a food insecurity rate of 12.6%, or 25,170 individuals. The food insecurity rate for children in St Louis County is 19.5% or 7640 individuals under the age of 18. (http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1565415/err173.pdf, http://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2013/overall)
What are the tactics JLD is using to address food insecurity?
Tactic #1: A Deep-Winter Greenhouse, Neighborhood Transformation, & Partner Capacity Building
JLD is working with our community partners—the City of Duluth, Zeitgeist Center for Arts and Community, and Community Action Duluth—to transform an underutilized lot in West Duluth by building a deep-winter greenhouse, hoop-house, outdoor classroom, and open community green space (at 45th Ave West & Grand Avenue). The adjacent lot houses a Duluth Community Garden Program site built in the summer of 2016. http://duluthcommunitygarden.org/
The greenhouse and hoop-house will be owned by the City of Duluth and operated by Community Action Duluth’s Seeds of Success (SoS). SoS “helps unemployed Duluthians attain economic stability by providing them with transitional employment growing vegetables in vacant lots.” http://www.communityactionduluth.org/seeds/
SoS currently addresses food access concerns in a USDA-designated food desert by selling their produce at the Lincoln Park Farmer’s Market and makes it more affordable by offering up to $15 a week in a SNAP matching program.
The Deep Winter Greenhouse and hoop-house will allow SoS to extend their growing season and expand their transitional employment program in a way that helps to make their program sustainable.
Deep-winter greenhouses are designed to maximize vegetable production in the depths of winter, while maintaining a low carbon footprint and low operational costs. The hope is that this deep-winter greenhouse will be the first of many built in our community. The hoop-house offers a way to diversify the produce grown to appeal to a market for “heat-loving” crops that do not thrive in this climate.
Timeline: Neighborhood transformation will happen THIS Summer!!
Site preparation and building are scheduled to begin in June and be completed by mid-Fall; the deep-winter greenhouse will be up and running for winter 2017-18.
Thank-you to our funders
- Junior League of Duluth
- Healthy Duluth Area Coalition
- Essentia Health Foundation
- Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
- The Whole Food Coop
- The Twin Ports Community!
View the JLD Greenhouse Plot Layout
Tactic #2: Proving a Pantry
During the 2017 season of the Lincoln Park Farmers Market, the JLD will be offering “pantry” items to customers taking advantage of SNAP benefits. A neighborhood survey by Fair Food Access indicated that many residents want more options available at the market.
Based on those research findings, every other week we are providing pantry items at the Harrison Farmer’s Market. These all-organic pantry items will be available, at no cost. Thanks to the Whole Foods Coop for their support! http://wholefoods.coop/
Providing a Pantry Schedule: