LINCOLN, Neb. The Aetna Foundation has awarded Community Crops a grant of $25,000.00 in support of their Healthy Eating in Lincoln Project.
Support from the Aetna Foundation will allow Crops to increase their outreach and communication to non-English speaking communities, with the outcome of 55% minority participation in 2015. Many of the participants in the community garden program are immigrants and refugees who come from 25 different countries and speak seven unique languages.
Aetna's GoLocal-Cultivating Healthier Communities Grant will increase effectiveness in promoting healthier lifestyles through better nutrition and greater physical activity among these populations by identifying community liaisons that assist with outreach, education and communication in the gardeners' native tongues. Many immigrants come from agricultural backgrounds and would like to continue this traditional once in the United States but are limited due to language and literacy barriers.
Wah Wah Moo, a third year gardener from Burma, states: "Agriculture was a very important thing when we lived in Burma. Most Karen like to eat fresh produce, and use no chemicals on their vegetables. When I came to the United States, I lived in an apartment and missed my village a lot. Then I had an opportunity to garden through Community Crops and plant different vegetables, and eat healthy."
Community Crops is a Lincoln-based non-profit organization that helps people grow healthy food through a network of 12 community gardens, the Growing Farmers Training Program, vibrant youth projects, CSA (vegetable subscription) and educational classes. Those interested in gardening in a community plot this year can apply at the link below.