In rural states, gardening and foraging helpe

Corn Seedlings

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Person plants corn seedlings


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Credit: Sally McCay

New research on rural New Englanders shows that gardening, hunting, fishing and other HWFP activities are important tools for maintaining food security through extreme events, such as pandemics or climate change events. 

University of Vermont and University of Maine researchers found that both food insecurity and home and wild food production (HWFP) – gardening, hunting, fishing, foraging, and having “backyard” poultry or livestock – increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who undertook HWFP activities exhibited improved food security 9-12 months later.  

The paper, published in Scientific Reports, surveyed over 1,000 individuals in rural Vermont and Maine (the two most rural states in the country) to identify their food security and food sources. 

Researchers hope that policymakers will consider how HWFP might lead to a more resilient food system. “Home and wild food production is not a silver

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New Baptist Health rooftop garden opens up to patients

The produce from the garden will be included in the Baptist Health Food Rx program, which provides food-insecure patients with a three-day food supply.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Baptist Health-Fort Smith opened a new rooftop garden at the Marvin Altman Fitness Center with hopes of addressing and combating the issue of food insecurity among its patients by offering fruits and vegetables.

The rooftop garden will be “the first of its kind” in Arkansas and “one of 25” in the nation, Baptist said.  

The produce from the garden will be included in the Baptist Health Food Rx program. The program provides discharged patients who have been identified as food insecure with a three-day food supply for a family of four.

Hannah Schultz, a graduate assistant at Baptist Health-Fort Smith, started researching and planning the garden in July. Volunteers from Baptist Health and the River Valley Master Gardeners officially began planting

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