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A Fresh New Network for Fresh Foods


The American Heart Association (AHA) launched an online community yesterday, July 30. The Garden Community seeks to encourage Americans to include fruit and vegetables in their everyday diet through gardening.

Through this new online initiative, individuals, schools, communities or other groups throughout the country who are either already gardening or who are interested in learning about gardening can come together to easily connect with others and learn and share best practices, resources, ideas and other information.

AHA is hopes this will be a collaborative place for leaders to work together and explore ways to support one another in making gardens and fresh food accessible for all. “We see the Garden Community as an expansion of our AHA Teaching Garden program which currently reaches 270 elementary schools across the country,” said  Natashia Doolittle, Associate Manager of Kid’s Market and Healthy Living Strategies at AHA--and a Leader. “The Garden Community is intended to include and engage our Teaching Garden schools but to also reach much further – bringing together other school gardeners or garden programs, community gardens, agricultural/horticultural experts and even home gardeners.“

Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese, and fewer than one in 10 high school students receive the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, according to the AHA Garden Community website. “Research shows that children who grow vegetables may be more likely to eat them and that individuals who participate in community gardens eat more fruits and vegetables,” Doolittle said. “By moving a significant number of Americans toward a higher consumption level of fruits and vegetables by 2020, the Garden Community will contribute to lowering obesity rates and improving the overall health of all Americans.”

To find out how you can become a part of this new online gardening community, see the American Heart Association Garden Community website here.

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