Week 4

It is often hard for small organizations to grow because of all the work they have to do just to function as a non-profit every single day. Growing Hope faces challenges in all directions, but with minimal resources and a small staff, the organization tries the best it can to continue to reach out to the local community. High on a small organization’s wish list is money, and more resources, but especially for Growing Hope, the highest wish is increased community participation. Many community members have found Growing Hope’s outreach programs beneficial to Ypsilanti, but much of the community has not taken the time to become invested in the programs offered by Growing Hope as volunteers or workers. This is not unique to the area: the food movement in general has been largely pioneered by local farmers but publicized by affluent community members and celebrities, people the traditionally oppressed at large cannot identify with economically or culturally. The misconception that fresh produce can only be accessed by those with more wealth and influence has been prevalent in areas where low-income households purchase unhealthy foods and non-perishable foods as a mainstay to keep within their food budget. Changing the perception of access to fresh produce is a crucial goal in the outreach Growing Hope has with the Ypsilanti community. If more members of the community see growing and buying fresh food as a viable option for their families, they will be more inclined to help Growing Hope’s outreach by encouraging their neighbors to participate.

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