Nearly 1 in 5 households with children reported food hardship and more than 25% of working families in Colorado do not have enough food to meet their basic needs (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). By transforming lawns into organic gardens, we have grown enough produce to feed hundreds of Colorado families. We're expanding our services to create a food hub that offers food access as well as economic opportunity by providing cooking and nutrition classes, kitchen, grocery store, and youth programming.
16.5 million children in America, or 1 in 4, are food insecure. "Colorado has the third-fastest growing rate of child poverty in the nation, with more kids living in poverty during 2012 than the worst of the Great Recession" (Kids Count in Colorado! 2014). Over 92% of kids we serve receive free or reduced lunch. Many families cannot afford healthy food and choose unhealthy diets without realizing the consequences. Poor nutrition leads to obesity and severely diminished health.
Our aim is to create to an inclusive and accessible food hub for West Denver and Jefferson County. Jovial Concepts hosts 90 lawn gardens and a 7500 sq ft community food hub. By providing a commercial kitchen we will be able to facilitate baking, canning, and soup-making for residents. Community members will create products in our kitchen and sell them in the market, creating a closed loop within our facility. Our co-op will offer access to resources, education. and economic opportunity.
Potentially, our gardens and food hub will be a platform for sustainable neighborhoods, economic opportunity, and increase health and wellness. By increasing access to basic needs and improving the health of individuals in a community, we can open up funds for education, housing, and transportation. By demonstrating solutions to hunger, we hope to inspire more self-sustaining communities while curbing major issues of poverty nationwide.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).