photo: Camden Children's Garden
While the nation's unemployment rate climbed to an alarming 9.5 percent this month, it still pales in comparison to Camden, N.J.'s most recent jobless rate of 18 percent. More and more people are struggling to put food on the table and as a result, area soup kitchens are struggling to feed hungry mouths. While finding a silver lining to the ominous cloud that still blankets this hard hit community would seem quite the arduous task, the Camden City Community Garden Club has succeeded in providing this struggling city with a reason to smile.
In just one year, the Camden City Garden Club along with AmeriCorps NCCC succeeded in doubling the number of its community gardens. The gardens have been around for 25 years but recently the group expanded them to provide food to local soup kitchens and clean up the city.
Through the program, the Camden City Garden Club worked alongside residents to create and maintain more than 60 food-producing community garden sites. The club has converted lots covered with trash into community gardens, working to both revive these hard hit communities as well as teach residents how to grow their own food. The Community Gardening Program offers its urban gardeners workshops and meetings to teach them firsthand how to cultivate their own gardens.
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