This project will fund seed access and education programs to establish home and community resiliency gardens in Poland. By working with local community groups, we will support vegetable production and community building for Ukrainian refugees and the families and communities that have graciously brought them into their home.
Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, are struggling as they escape unprecedented hostilities. Over 1.7 million Ukrainians have entered Poland seeking refuge during a time of extreme duress. Millions more are projected to follow in the coming weeks. This rapid migration is stressing food supplies and creating shortages all over Poland. Most emergency, disaster relief is focused on meeting immediate needs: shelter, medicine, and dry food goods.
With churches, schools, grassroots organizations and mutual aid projects in Poland, SPI is supporting home and community vegetable gardens to boost food supply for Ukrainian refugees and the families and communities that graciously support them. Planting community gardens not only addresses food supply issues but alleviates distress, promotes resiliency, and increases place connection for refugees in a time of crisis. Research shows that gardening can reduce depression and build community.
With no end to the Ukrainian crisis in sight, refugees need to establish a sense of place in their new communities. Vegetable-growing programs are unlikely to be the first response in a crisis, yet are an enduring, stabilizing element. Economists and disaster victims alike know that post-crisis food markets can feature wild shortages and surpluses, price spikes and crashes, and food-quality concerns. By fostering vegetable production, our relief efforts can help provide long term resilience.