Happy Spring Quarter everyone! This quarter we’ll have posts from UCM interns and Ohio University students alike. This week intern Sam Fersky and her beautiful views on community gardening.
Every time I think I know Athens through to the core, like an old friend, Athens surprises me with gifts of beauty and joy. This quarter Shea and I decided that we were going to plant a garden in order to stretch the summer food supply. After doing some research, it seemed that taking advantage of the Athens Community Gardens would make the most sense for Thursday Supper. I had no idea the community gardens would be a scene of bliss that would send me spiraling into a state of utter happiness. All the gardeners working side by side, in harmony; so many different kinds of people, including students, low income members of the community, and student groups like Thursday Supper.
It has long been a dream of mine that all people have access to healthy food regardless of how much money they make in a year. Eating vegetables is not a privilege, it is a right. It is a fact; everyday children in America go to school hungry. Before we diagnose a child as having ADHD from now on we should ask them if they ate breakfast in the morning. Rhetorical question: do you find it difficult to learn when you haven’t eaten breakfast or even dinner the night before? I do. Sometimes, it seems like we are more willing to give our children pharmaceuticals than a healthy meal. Unfortunately food insecurity is a reality for many children and adults in Athens County. Food insecurity is a serious issue and there are some people and organizations in the community trying to do more than put a band aid on the problem. I have never been prouder to say that I live in Athens than now. It seems that every day I learn about a local organization that I have never heard of tackling issues dealing with poverty. The sheer fact that someone can lease a plot of land for one year, for $25.00 to grow as much healthy, organic food as they can fit on the land is simply amazing to me.
The point I am trying to make is that poverty exists, and not just in developing countries. It is right down the road, it has a face. It might be the woman at the bus stop, the child walking home from school, or the man you see in the library every day. Hunger looks like you, and it looks like me, and it’s real. Athens is my ray of sunshine; it gives me hope for the future that maybe one day, no children will have to go to school hungry ever again.