Jovial Gardens

Combating Hunger in Colorado

Nearly 1 in 4 households with children reported food hardship1 and more than 25% of working families in Colorado do not have enough food to meet their basic needs2.

Colorado has one of the fastest growing rates of childhood poverty in the nation. Between 2002 and 2010, the rate of child poverty increased 86% in the state.3 Children aged 0-5 are most at risk of living in homes without enough food.3

By transforming lawns into organic gardens, we can provide the produce to feed 120 Colorado families throughout the growing seasons. Using gardens as a classroom, participants learn sustainability, environmental awareness, healthy food practices, and how to combat obesity and other health issues associated with food hardships.

 

Problem 1- Food Scarcity

  • In many urban neighborhoods, it is all too convenient to buy fast food and soda but nearly impossible to find fresh fruits and vegetables. These areas with limited access to affordable, healthy food are predominantly composed of low-income communities.4
  • Convenience markets with sweet and salty snacks are frequently the main dietary source for residents of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods which leads to high obesity rates among these areas.4
  • Research has shown that the presence of grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables in a community helps residents maintain a healthy lifestyle.4
  • Increasing access to nutritious food that is lower in fat and calories is a crucial interim step in helping poorer communities reduce their rate of chronic disease and improve the overall health of Coloradans.4

Our Solution

  • By gaining the support of local residents, we can provide the access to fresh produce by growing it in the neighborhoods that have a lack of accessibility and need healthy food most.
  • All of our food donated goes directly to the nearest local area in need from where it is grown.

Problem 2 – Food Insecurity

  • Studies show that there is more than enough food to provide the World with enough nutrition to live a healthy life.5
  • The cost of fresh produce and healthy food restricts families from being able to provide proper nutrition in their homes.4
  • Even when provided with fresh fruits and vegetables, many at risk and low income households do not know how to prepare their food.

Our Solution

  • By providing fresh produce to those in need through active local food banks, we can make sure that everything we grow goes to a good home.
  • Through food education classes, we are able to give opportunity to teach people techniques of how to prepare and cook food. The provision of easy to follow recipes for the produce we give will reduce the need for pre-packaged unhealthy food and provide equal nutritional opportunity for entire households.
  • Having gardening classes and providing resources to create their own gardens, low income households will be able to provide for themselves and start to be part of the independent sustainable process.

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Jovial Futures

The Colorado Gap

Colorado suffers from an unequal balance of trade in terms of its talent. While the Rocky Mountain state ranks near the top in the number of residents with a college degree, it comes in nearly last in number of students who complete college. Nearly half of its residents with college degrees are transplants from other states. For every 10 students that graduate high school in Colorado, just two will go on to finish college.
Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 high school students in Colorado won’t graduate on time
  • 15,000 high school students in Colorado drop out each year.
  • 42 of undergraduates in Colorado won’t finish in 4-6 years.
  • An average dropout will make $10k a year less than a high school graduate and $36k less each year than someone with a bachelor’s degree.
“[Communities] that invest in their young people reap the benefits through greater [economic] growth and social well-being for generations to come.” – Ban Ki Moon

How can Jovial Futures help?

Our program, set to launch in 2014, is aimed at supporting the futures of 100 children in Colorado.
Jovial Futures is applying 50 years of research from the Search Institute for adolescent development via the creation of a powerful network of educational youth camps, experiential education programs, mentorships, internships, service learning, and career placement.
By removing financial barriers, providing youth with more opportunities, and creating community support systems, our program will help close the gap that keeps Colorado from growing its own professional talent!

“Research shows that the more opportunities and experiences a child has, the more successful they will be”

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Jump For Joy – Event Results!

Thank you to all of the fabulous talent that came out to support our Jump for Joy event!

Because of the wonderful support we had from so many talented artists and performers, we will be able to help over 500 kids recieve jump ropes and hula hoops in Cape Town, South Africa!

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