KDLT Cares: Food Forest Fighting Hunger
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -As hunger becomes an increasing problem, one local non-profit organization is coming up with new ways to combat the issue. Organizers with Project Food Forest said a study done by ‘Feeding America’ shows Minnehaha County has over 21,000 people who need access to low cost food.
We all hope our creative ideas will someday come to life. For the organizers of Project Food Forest, it was an idea that took years in the making.
“I started learning about permaculture and gardening and things and I was driving around seeing a lot of grass that wasn’t getting used and kept thinking we should plant food here,” said the founder of Project Food Forest, Veronica Shukla.
Shukla said those grasslands will soon be filled with forests and they’ll eventually be able to sustain themselves because they work like the ecosystem and patterns found in nature. Organizers said they envision food forests all around Sioux Falls. Today they took the first step towards that dream at Spirit of Peace United Church of Christ.
“We have a beautiful building here that we’ve put on this land and it’s a way for us to give the land back to creation and back to it’s original purpose which is to provide for it’s people,” said the Director of Development at Spirit of Peace UCC, Nick Olson.
Project Food Forest is designed to plant edible plants that will grow back each year. They’ll provide a variety of fruits and vegetables to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.
“Some of the berries that are coming off of these trees and fruits that are coming off of these trees will provide a nice boost of nutrition,” said Shukla.
The plants will start to bear fruit in about a year and they’ll be available to the public. Church officials also plan to donate extras to local food pantries.
“It’s important for people in Sioux Falls to know that they are supported in whatever way that is, and this is one way that we can support people who are food insufficient,” said Olson.
Project Food Forest said anyone can plant a food forest if they have the land for it. If you would like to start your own or get involved, you can contact them on their website at www.projectfoodforest.org.