The UM Garden Club is bringing awareness to food insecurity by offering community members the chance to learn how to maintain and prepare fresh produce.
The topic became more and more of a discussion due to the fact that roughly 70 percent of students at Ole Miss experience food insecurity at least once during their four years of college. Food insecurity means that students either don’t have enough to eat, or don’t have nutritious food to eat.
“It’s a group of us. Like, we’re not alone at all. I’ve been food insecure plenty of times in my life. A lot of our members, they’ve done it and it’s not something that we vocalize, but it’s more of an understood thing and it’s also a community,” said Denae Bradley VISTA Volunteer with the Office of Sustainability.
The UM Garden Club partnered with the Office of Sustainability and the UM Food Bank during Green Week to feed fellow students in a “Garden to Table” event where the students pulled weeds from the garden and harvested produce. One participant said he believes more students should be aware of the fact that they can grow their own food on campus.
“It’s definitely fulfilling if people know how to do it and they are able to go out and to be not entirely self sustaining, because I feel like that would take a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of land. But it is nice to supplement your diet,” said Austin Dorris, UM student. “It’s also a good way to meet people and get your hands dirty. You realize it’s just fun.”
Shortly after harvesting and maintaining the garden, participants walked to the Honors College and took part in a cooking demo using fresh produce from the garden.
“We try to use foods from the Farmer’s Market as well,” Bradley said.
The recipes were led by, Maggie Smith, an intern in the Office of Sustainability and participants were given guides on how to create the meal, as well as, a step-by-step processes of preparation.
“The garden is free and so it doesn’t cost anyone. The only cost is planting the seeds,” Bradley said.
For more information on how to use the garden, Please contact the UM Garden Club or the Office of Sustainability’s website to connect and grow on campus.
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