Duckworth and Matsui Join Forces to Reduce Hunger and Improve Health Through Community Gardening

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Washington, DC, September 16, 2016 | comments
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), whose family relied on food stamps in her youth, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) are joining forces to reduce hunger and improve health around the country by promoting community gardens and the positive impacts they have on local communities. The two Congresswomen this week introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate a National Community Gardening Awareness Week to support the gardens nationwide. “Community gardens help build healthy futures,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “Urban agriculture increases access to nutritional foods and reduces hunger, while promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship. By designating a National Community Gardening Awareness Week, we have an opportunity to increase awareness about the benefits of integrating these important spaces into our urban centers.” “Community gardens are an important, but too often overlooked, asset for communities that help people around the country lead better, healthier lives,” said Duckworth. “Americans of all backgrounds benefit from the shared sense of community these gardens foster and the positive impacts they have on nearby residents, including reducing hunger and improving access to healthy, nutritious foods. We should support and encourage their expansion throughout our nation.” If enacted, the new National Community Gardening Awareness Week would recognize and support the impact community gardens have on their communities: increasing access to fresh and healthy produce, helping reduce hunger and sustain local food banks, creating a more livable environment and improving resident quality of life. The text of the Duckworth-Matsui resolution follows: RESOLUTION
Supporting the goals and ideals of National Community Gardening Awareness Week. Whereas countless American families live with hunger every day; Whereas countless American families do not have access to fresh produce in their neighborhoods; Whereas community gardens conserve limited resources and promote sustainability; Whereas community gardens provide and important nutritious source of fresh produce donations for local food pantries and social service agencies; Whereas community gardens enable inpiduals to gain control over the quality, variety, and cost of their food supply; Whereas community gardening encourages Americans of perse cultural and economic backgrounds to work together, foster a better sense of community, and improve the quality of their lives; Whereas community-based youth and school gardening programs encourage personal self-esteem and a healthy attitude toward learning; Whereas community gardening and greening projects provide a catalyst for neighborhood and community development; Whereas community gardens reduce city heat and preserve open spaces for both present and future generations; Whereas community gardens and other green spaces provide a more livable environment in American municipalities and present a positive local image to a community’s residents and visitors; Whereas community gardens help provide local food banks with fresh produce for those in need; and Whereas the second week in September is an appropriate week to designate as National Community Gardening Awareness Week: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the House of Representatives supports the goals and ideals of National Community Gardening Awareness Week, including—

(1)       raising awareness about the importance of community gardens and urban agriculture;

(2)       improving access to public land for the creation of sustainable food projects;

(3)       encouraging further growth of community gardens and other opportunities that increase food self-reliance, improve fitness, contribute to a cleaner environment, and enhance community development; and

(4)       supporting cooperative efforts among Federal, State, and local governments and nonprofit organizations to promote the development and expansion of community gardens and to increase their accessibility to disadvantaged groups.


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