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'This Is Food Security for Us': How Community Gardens Are Persisting Through the Pandemic

In food deserts where they're on the nutrition frontlines, community gardens are more than neighborly amenities

Alexandra Jones knew that this growing season was going to be different when the leaders of her West Philadelphia community garden held their annual membership meeting via Zoom

"Usually we all go to someone's house in early March, everyone brings food and we hash out all our plans for the year," Jones said. "And it started with, 'Well, if you feel sick, then please stay home.' Then it was, 'I guess we'll set up a Zoom if anyone is feeling uncomfortable about coronavirus,' and then of course the whole thing ended up just being over Zoom." 

During the video conference, Jones said, she and her fellow gardeners didn't really specifically talk about how the novel coronavirus pandemic would change how they operated their garden, but a few days later, the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department sent out a notice to community gardeners in the city.