Food is a powerful thing. It strengthens our bodies, nourishes our brains, and gives us the energy to take on whatever life throws at us. But food can do even more than that. I believe that with access to the right resources, people can harness the power of food to transform their lives and communities. How?
Food Brings People Together.
I’ve been privileged to grow up in a community with plenty of agricultural resources. The Agricultural Fall Fair is an annual highlight in our town. Farmers have the opportunity to showcase their produce, 4-H members show livestock, community members of all ages exhibit crafts and baking, and people flock to town to socialize and celebrate the abundance of food we are able to produce each year. I also have fond memories of picking and preserving strawberries and pears with my family, of learning about livestock from the many farmers in the area, and enjoying delicious meals made with freshly-picked vegetables in the company of friends and family. From harvesting to preserving to preparing and enjoying meals, food has a way of meaningfully bringing people together.
Food Production Creates Jobs.
Growing food is no small task. The land must be prepared; seeds must be planted; the crops must be watered, cared for, and harvested; food must be either taken to the market or prepared for consumption. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the agricultural sector is responsible for the livelihood of over 80% of Kenya’s population. If a community has access to the resources it needs in order to become a thriving agricultural hub, there will be a multitude of jobs available for its members in the process of food production.
Food is a Source of Income.
When there is an abundance of food, the surplus produce can be sold at the market to earn money. This money can be used for crucial expenditures such as school fees, medical bills, clothing, electricity, and so much more.
Food Empowers People to Unlock Their Potential.
When children have nourishing food, they are able to grow strong and healthy. Well-nourished children have better brain function and improved behaviour and are better able to function in school. It’s easy to see what an incredible impact this can have: if children eat well, they learn well, which helps them grow up to be confident contributors to their communities. Good food means a good future, not only for the children themselves but for the whole community!
When nourishing food is abundant, so are opportunities. Hope grows.
The Rita Rose Garden & Sustainable Farm is working hard to bring these advantages of food to the children at the Kisumu Children’s Rescue Center. These vulnerable children are given nourishment and a safe, loving home so they can grow up to be positive change-makers in their community. The Farm is working to increase its productivity and sustainability so it can one day fund all of the Rescue Center’s operational costs.
Right now, you can help the team at the Farm access the resources they need to help their community thrive by donating at www.classy.org/erinritarose, hosting a fundraising event, or simply by sharing their vision with your friends and family. The more people we reach, the more positive change we can create!
Thanks for reading, friends. I can’t wait to see what amazing opportunities await the community in Kisumu in 2016!