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The statistics are staggering: 13 percent of Americans live in poverty resulting in 16.7 million hungry children. That’s one in four U.S. children. Before the age of 65, 51.4 percent of all citizens will live in poverty.

National nutrition programs are in place in schools to provide children breakfast and lunch. The Food Stamp Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and other nutritional program operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serve millions of U.S. residents daily.

Charity organizations such as churches and soup kitchens step in to aid the homeless.

However, the programs are short-term fixes for the larger problem. As the Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.”

The root of poverty is the lack of jobs. This is a problem that began around 1820 in the U.S. and has only worsened with time. It’s unlikely to ever be fixed. We must feed our people now.

During World World II, ration stamps limited purchases of sugar, butter, meat and many other items. Women started “victory gardens” in their yards to grow vegetables for their families. This freed the farmers’ productions for the troops.

We need to alter city ordinances permit our citizens to once again plant “victory gardens” for their own use, especially in project housing. Some residences with confined spaces will need container gardens. People should not be jailed for growing food.

Offer low-cost seeds for those living below the poverty line.

Conduct classes to teach first time “farmers” how to germinate the seeds and when to transplant the seedlings to the ground or the containers.

Designate areas in every village, town and city for community gardens.

In high-rise buildings, you can use container garden on terraces. With permission and if the roof is strong enough, you can establish a community garden. Information is available on the Internet.

We stand to gain nutritious food for the poor, oxygen for the air and more greenery in the cities with a return to these “victory gardens.” Most importantly it provides a victory over hunger.

First Lady Michelle Obama has advocated small container gardens for kids on the Disney Channel for more than a year. She touts the nutritional value of the vegetables. This just expands her idea and feeds the poor.

Links:

What is Container Gardening?

Evaluating the Potential of Green Roof Agriculture

City Farmer News

10 Tips To Grow a Vegetable Garden

References:

Manpower in Economic Growth: The American Record Since 1800 by Stanley Lebergott

Don’t Know Much About American History by Kenneth C. Davis. 2003 HarperCollins

A Blog Action Day Post #BAD11

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