After delivering thousands of meals and bags of groceries to our SILO friends, we got to thinking about ways to further stabilize their sources of food. We came up with a backyard gardening program called Growing with SILO. We have built and installed close to 200 raised beds in the backyards of those who were struggling with food insecurity. These mini vegetable gardens provide healthy food for 328 people, including 138 children, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to grow their own food. Participants chose from two summer varieties: a Salsa Garden or a Salad Garden. A spring and fall planting provides additional produce into the cool months.
We have completed two full growing seasons and are thrilled for how this new program provides a layer of food stability for our friends- right in their own backyard. Simultaneously, the gardening program provides participants with purpose, education and “garden therapy” while empower our friends to provide for their most basic needs.