Well-planned urban agriculture projects promote extremely positive social, health, and economic outcomes within communities. These programs, which usually include cultivating, processing, and distributing food, provide direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables while also educating those involved in the primary benefits of healthy eating.

Recognizing this, Aramark and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities partnered with two organizations that are leaders urban agricultural efforts, Pillsbury United Communities in Minneapolis and BakerRipley in Houston, to gain their insight on how best to execute these strategies. Their expertise has been developed into the Maximizing Urban Agriculture to Increase Community Health and Wellness Toolkit. This toolkit identifies several important aspects organizations must consider before starting an urban farm and the critical components, approaches, and strategies needed for both initial and ongoing success.

Urban agriculture is an important and useful strategy for driving health and wellness in communities. In addition to addressing basic nutrition needs, urban agriculture can serve as a tool for education, community development, employment, community engagement, exercise, conservation, social interaction between generations, and enriching cultural connections.

The Alliance and Aramark are providing the free toolkit to encourage more organizations to consider the many benefits realized through these programs, while also providing information and support through their network of partners with experience in urban agriculture.

Download Toolkit

In addition, enhance your current community health and wellness program or get started in this area by becoming a Healthy for Life facilitator. Free registration offers access to the Healthy for Life Educational Experiences, an evidence-based community nutrition and well-being program that empowers people to make healthy food, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. The complete, ready-to-use program includes a curriculum, facilitator guides, videos, and more. 

Watch Ethan Neal's Snapshots presentation from the 2019 Alliance National Conference to learn more about Pillsbury United Communities urban agriculture initiative.