The Community Gardens program at Tarrant Area Food Bank provides opportunities for collaboration, education and other resources, and supports a network of partners in creating community food systems benefiting those in need. We are currently working with 16 partner gardens in Tarrant County to accomplish this goal.
Though our partner garden network, we:
1. Support organizations in creating sustainable community gardens by providing
leadership training, support for design and implementation, as well as materials & tools.
2. Provide technical resources, education and networking opportunities to increase site
3. Provide nutrition education to ensure gardeners can fully utilize their harvests and help make
the connection between produce consumption and good health.
TAFB Learning Garden
In order to better meet the needs of our partners and others in the community interested in TAFB's community gardening work, we collaborated on a learning garden. The TAFB Learning Garden provides TAFB Partner Agencies and other community organizations interested in serving low-income individuals with a model for developing their own community gardens.
The Learning Garden has four main components:
- Demonstration of a variety of gardening models and methods, such as
- In-ground, raised, and container beds
- Traditional, permaculture, hydroponic, aquaponic, etc.
- Native, organic, heirloom, sensory, etc.
- Training and Activities
- Community Garden site development training
- Leadership training for partner garden leaders
- Harvest to Table courses for participating clients
- Community Outreach including:
- Clear signage indicating name, purpose and contact for garden
- Kiosk or board with lists of work times, specific opportunities for involvement, educational opportunities and special events, resources needed, etc.
- Communication board for messages, recording poundage, etc.
- Events, such as an open house, block party, or other events
- Workshops and courses on container or other home gardening topics
4. Produce Donation Program—Food grown and harvested on site will be donated to those at risk of hunger.
Why Community Gardening?
While people are often surprised at all Tarrant Area Food Bank does to eliminate hunger, many find a gardening program one of the more unusual endeavors. Here are a few outcomes of gardening programs that support it as an effective means of addressing hunger.
- Food Secure Communities: increases food security and self-reliance.
- Healthy People: increases vegetable intake and physical activity; freshly harvested produce maximizes nutritional content of food.
- Healthy Budgets: saves money on food bills over time.
- Manage Resources: turns trash into treasure through repurposing and composting otherwise wasted resources.
- Build Community: fosters community identity and spirit.
- Create Local Culture: reconnects people with nature and each other.
- Healthy Land: makes beneficial use of vacant or unproductive spaces.
Like our other Nutrition Education programs, the Community Garden program is funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- SNAP. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, read about how our SNAP Outreach efforts can help you or call 1-866-430-6143.
Tarrant Area Food Bank is operated in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, reprisal and, where applicable, marital status and familial or parental status.
For information on the Community Garden program:
Katey Rudd, Community Gardens Coordinator
Volunteer at a partner garden site:
Debby Christian, Volunteer Coordinator