Hope Gardens creates a community space that fosters relationships, educates the community, and addresses barriers to food access through shared efforts in sustainable agriculture.
Hope Gardens is a completely student-run nonprofit organization that seeks to bridge the gap between UNC and the broader community on issues of food access and food security.
We strive to educate participants about gardening, raise awareness about food insecurity and the ways we can combat it, increase access to fresh produce, and catalyze transitions to healthy lifestyles in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area.
This mission is carried out by our five committees that organize projects and events throughout the school year. These committees include Garden, Outreach, Nutrition, Development, and Herban Garden.
In the fall of 2008, UNC students from the HOPE (Homeless Outreach Poverty Eradication) Committee of the Campus Y developed Hope Gardens as a mechanism for social justice in their community. It began as an inclusive community garden and a transitional employment program for homeless individuals. The purpose was to initiate dialogue and facilitate relationships between the student, homeless, and low-income communities of Chapel Hill in a cooperative working environment. With advocacy from the Active Living by Design Committee of Chapel Hill and design assistance from the NCSU Department of Horticulture Science, Hope Gardens partnered with the Chapel Hill Department of Parks and Recreation and settled into a 14 acre green-space on Homestead Road in the summer of 2009.
Much like our garden, our organization is constantly growing. Recognizing and addressing food access in Chapel Hill and Carrboro has been an extremely rewarding experience and we look forward to expanding our community impact in the future. To learn more about how Hope Gardens has evolved, please refer to the Committees, Events, and Involvement sections listed above and discover how you can participate in the wide variety of services we provide. Watch this short documentary by Media Makers for Change to catch a glimpse of Hope Gardens' impact on the Chapel Hill community...