JULIE HARANS SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 10:30AM
It’s no secret there's poverty in Miami. Just blocks away from multi-million dollar condos are underprivileged communities struggling to survive. Our city is disjointed – a puzzle of pieces that just won’t snap into place. As skyscrapers grow and businesses boom, the wealth gap is widening and the less fortunate are getting shut out. So what do we do?
Behind a block of concrete housing in Liberty City, a solution is growing. Colorful murals declare, “This is your community,” bright green leaves emerge from long beds of soil and salsa music blares from a stereo.
The garden is part of Health in the Hood, an organization founded in 2012 that encourages healthy lifestyles in underprivileged communities. Leading the organization is founder and president Asha Loring, who’s no stranger to this line of work. After several years of involvement with AmeriCorps and Public Allies, Loring decided to follow father Marvin Dunn’s footsteps and unite urban farming and community service.
She wrote a few grants, gathered some seeds and revived two of her father’s plant beds to begin her own project. Now, three years later, Health in the Hood is not only providing fresh produce to families who have no access to grocery stores, but it’s also educating the community on healthy lifestyles through incentive-based classes and hands-on involvement.