Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letter from Treasurer

I am writing you today to give you an opportunity to be a part of an inspiring movement - a movement that addresses the most profound social and environmental issues facing Asheville’s communities. The movement is Urban Agriculture, and the Bountiful Cities Project has been at the forefront of that movement for almost a decade.

What sets the Bountiful Cities Project apart from other “Local Food Movement” organizations? The Bountiful Cities Project has a social justice perspective. This means that we understand that no movement is effective unless it considers ALL members of the community, and that true change comes from the ground up, in our daily lives, or it is not sustainable. We are an organization committed to helping urban communities grow and sustain healthy food systems within their communities through gardening. We serve as a resource for turning vacant lots into food production spaces, and we maintain those spaces towards education and empowerment of the community.

Here are some examples of how we are putting our principles into action in Asheville’s urban communities:
· Our partnership with the Shiloh Community Association has included three years of the Strong Roots Children’s Gardening Program, and the first year of our teen internship program, the Youth Eat This! Initiative (YETI), encouraging children and teens to participate in the food system from seed to seed.
· At the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park and the Joyner Garden, community members continue to cultivate urban land to produce food in abundance.
· At the Pearson Drive Garden in Montford, the Bountiful Cities Project has created a model community space showcasing sustainable systems such as cob building, community bread ovens, beekeeping, and water catchment.
· Our school gardens include Hall Fletcher Elementary and Vance Elementary, where we work to integrate valuable food production knowledge within the schools’ curricula.
· Other partners include the Burton Street Community Peace Garden, Randolph Learning Center, South French Broad Neighborhood Association, Asheville Middle School, Claxton Elementary and Merrimon Baptist Church.

Friends, this is a critical time. As Asheville faces growing recognition as a “Foodtopia,” and the world faces growing food insecurity, the Bountiful Cities Project wants to ensure that everyone has a place at the table. Now more than ever, we need your support. Bountiful Cities has been on the ground, following through with our mission since 2000. With your support, our organization can grow with the demand for more local food, more community spaces in the city, and more education towards a just and sustainable future of abundance.

Please give generously to your community. Your contribution of $25, $50, $100 or $500 will significantly impact our ability to effect change that you can see, on the ground, in Asheville, at this critical moment.

Please save the date! September 25th we will be hosting an urban harvest with our first On Garden Dinner. Please see details below.

With Sincere Thanks,
Jodi Rhoden

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