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Communities Take Food Justice Into Their Own Hands, One Plot at a Time

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Organic Transitions page and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

Editor's Note: This is part of series, Facing the Climate Gap, which looks at grassroots efforts in California low-income communities of color to address climate change and promote climate justice. You can read the whole series here.

This article was published in collaboration with

While in some neighborhoods, home gardens are a novelty that contributes to the local food movement; in others they are a way to improve food security, environmental responsibility and community engagement one plot at a time.

3.7 million Californians lack basic food security, which is defined as reliable access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. This is despite the fact that 400 agricultural goods and nearly half of all fruits, nuts and vegetables in the U.S. are grown in California.

The effects of climate change are expected to make access to food increasingly problematic. Crop and livestock production is expected to decrease as extreme weather causes decreased water supply and increased risk for disease and pest invasions. Global food prices have already risen in recent years due to climate change.

When Charles Mason, Jr. looked out at his Sacramento neighborhood, he realized there was an opportunity to meet the community's needs for improved food access and environmental quality by planting home and community gardens. "Most people don't think they know how to change such a huge thing. But to the contrary if everyone did one thing, you would start seeing a significant impact to mitigate the effects of climate change," says Mason.  

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