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Campus Food Garden

Create an on-campus food garden

Project Leader(s): Nikki Byrne-Hoffman and Katrina Stewart, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology
Collaborator(s): Local food pantries and food equity organizations

Many college students, including those at WVU, struggle with food insecurity. Equitable access to fresh produce can be especially limited due to financial hardships or lack of transportation. Community gardens can help address this issue. We propose the establishment of an on-campus food garden to supply fresh produce to local food-insecure populations.

The goals of the on-campus food garden for the 2021-2022 growing season will be to:

  1. I nstall and establish a food garden on the WVU Main Campus. Produce will be donated to WVU’s The Rack or other food pantries and community kitchens. In addition, harvests may be organized around other food distribution initiatives so that the goods reach students, faculty, staff, and others in need.
  2. Increase awareness and civic engagement of studedts, faculty, and staff towards concerns of food insecurity and equity. Volunteers will be recruited to help establish maintain the garden and distribute produce. Visibility of the garden will highlight the importance of equitable access to fresh produce and nutritious foods.
  3. Provide an educational space to students, faculty, staff, and the general public on small space/high impact gardening. Participants will learn how to establish and maintain healthy plants in a garden setting by preparing soils, monitoring water and nutrient needs, and managing pests. The garden may also be used for modeling sustainability, and as a resource for plant and environmental biology courses.

Through shared common interest and cause, the garden provides a focal point for challenging conversations on food equity to evolve and creates a space for long-term solutions to be formulated. By dedicating space to addressing food inequities on campus, we show students we openly value and support their unique contributions and diversity and are committed to education and action on inclusion.