Written by Lily Hayward
My name is Lily Hayward, I’m a student at Guilford College and during the spring 2016 semester I was a garden intern at The Edible Schoolyard. I am a sociology/anthropology student with an environmental studies minor. I started a Row for the Hungry here at The Edible Schoolyard. This concept has sprung up across the country and is focused on encouraging small farms and community gardens to harvest a row of crops to donate to local food banks. This specific project allowed me to develop meaningful connections between my academic studies and my personal interests of food and community building. Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly interested in food insecurity and what some potential solutions are for approaching this nationwide issue.
I believe that Row for the Hungry is an extremely significant way to intentionally build a stronger community. By focusing our energy on not just the needs of one’s self but on the immediate and long term needs of all families in the area, solutions can be formed for those who lack access to affordable and healthy produce. The process is obvious to me: plant and grow sustainable food and share what we harvest to build a stronger community in which we all get to feed ourselves. When we begin with the fundamental element of sharing resources, we can collectively make a positive difference in our communities.
Starting a Row for the Hungry begins with understanding why and how people in our own neighborhoods face food insecurity. According to the 2015 study sponsored by the Washington-based Food Research & Action Center, the Greensboro-High Point metro area ranks as No. 1 nationwide in food hardship. Curious about why this is happening? Take a look at some of these great resources:
The next step is to take action. Row for the Hungry is something that everyone can be a part of. Whether you have a garden in your backyard or you are interested in using a community garden bed, all you have to do is donate a portion of the produce you harvest. Any size donation will be contributing to the solution. For those of you in Guilford County, once produce is harvested, the next step is to drop off your portion at The Children’s Museum. Our CEO, Marian King, connects us to Share the Harvest (http://sharetheharvestguilfordcounty.org/) who then helps distribute the produce to those in need. Planting, growing and harvesting are the first steps to Row for the Hungry; we need to recognize the needs in our larger community to understand how this form of involvement can make a lasting impact. Every effort matters!