Arlington environmental teen group plants gardens across county to feed food insecure families

Virginia

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Arlington has some new gardens popping up across the area, as local teens aim to fight food insecurity one seed at a time.

The Teens Dream Co Lab’s Zero Hunger Hub, a group of teenagers aiming to make a difference, came together on Saturday to plant a variety of vegetables for the community.

The event was made possible with a grant from Youth Service America, an organization helping to create volunteer opportunities for young adults. The Arlington Career Center at Arlington Public Schools also provided the students with a chef to learn and plan for the event.

“Because of Youth Service America, we were able to get a grant for five hundred dollars in which we used that money to create a community garden,” said Yosief Tewelde, Zero Hunger Hub Ambassador.

The garden will hopefully feed hundreds of Arlington residents in need, once the produce is ready for picking.

“We will be donating to Rock Springs Church, which holds a food drive for those experiencing food insecurity in the Arlington community. Produce is not something that’s super commonly found as a resource for those who experience food insecurity as a part of food drives,” said Sydney Rico, Former Zero Hunger Hub Ambassador.

Tomatoes and squash aren’t the only products to come from the garden — a bee box will also be implemented for the teens to harvest honey.

“We are getting a shipment of bees in about a week and it takes about a year for the bees to start producing honey that we can actually use,” said Rebecca Donovan, Zero Hunger Hub Ambassador.

The organization is starting small for now, with the goal to allow other Arlington residents to contribute to the gardens. Eventually, they hope to expand their concept across countries.

“We are blueprint right now, and if we find success in this, we’ll be able to export our blueprint all across the world and end hunger for all,” said Hermon Gebreezgi, Outreach Coordinator.

In total, the teens have planted six gardens. The hope is to create more in resident’s back yards.

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