By: Annie Gordon
This week the gap pack received an introduction into the social, economic, and environmental forces that drive the need for urban farming and community gardening throughout St. Louis, Missouri. Over the course of the week, we worked numerous communities and organizations that varied in both the focus and audience of their work. The majority of our mornings were spent at City Seeds, an urban farm dedicated to producing and distributing healthy, local produce. City Seeds also provides job training in green horticulture as well as an intensive fifteen-week therapeutic horticulture program for clients struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. An afternoon was spent at Operation Food Search, where we sorted and boxed food and other basic necessities that would be sent to those in need. Food Outreach requested that the Gap Pack volunteer to work an exclusive, high-status dinner in which all profits went to Food Outreach. Since 1988, Food Outreach has been serving fresh, nutritious meals to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and various cancers. Last, but certainly not least, our team served a number of inner city schools working to maintain community gardens that would provide a hands-on learning opportunity for elementary students.