In many Baltimore neighborhoods, there is a lack of consistent access to healthy, fresh food in homes and entire neighborhoods in Baltimore. Residents in food priority areas often rely on corner stores that do not have the means to supply fresh food on a large scale. Access to food is one of the leading factors that contributes to the complex interactions and feedback loops among the social determinants of health. For example, poor health can impact the ability to learn and limit employment opportunities, which in turn constrain income and thus lead to elevated rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Due to this lack of access to healthy food, people —families, elders, and children— in Baltimore suffer from significantly higher rates of premature death due to diet-related diseases (WHO). Additionally, of the families in food priority areas, an overwhelming 85.2% are from communities of color, making access to food an ethnographic issue, not simply a geographic one.
Here at Seedling, we have committed to doing our part in combatting these issues within our local community of Baltimore. To that end, we have developed distinct and interconnected initiatives in addition to our production of units: combatting food insecurity, expanding fresh food education, and building community partnerships.
"Everyone should have the opportunity to access fresh food and a healthy diet, regardless of their socioeconomic background."
Combatting Food Insecurity
Tackling the Issue
Without the presence of fresh produce grocery stores, residents in these "food desert" areas need to grow their own produce. We have begun an initiative to get our hydroponics units to these food-insecure areas at no or reduced costs, to be subsidized by our commercially sold units here.
Expanding Fresh Food Education
Educating the Future
We are dedicated to educating the public about the importance of healthy eating habits and fresh food access with our local public schools. We have developed a comprehensive curriculum to go along with our hydroponics units for a unique learning experience.