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Community gardens in Arizona promote savings, health

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Posted at 4:00 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 09:39:25-04

PHOENIX — The price of fresh fruits and vegetables has jumped more than 8% since last year, and those numbers are expected to increase.

"In 2022, food-at-home prices are predicted to increase between 5% and 6%, and food-away-from-home prices are predicted to increase between 5.5% and 6.5%," according to the USDA's Food Prices Outlook for April 2022.

In Arizona, municipalities and nonprofits have turned to community gardens as a way to revitalize certain parts of town while trying to address food insecurity.

TigerMountain Foundation has a garden near the corner of 18th Street and Broadway Road, which gives its food to people in need and food pantries.

The group's CEO, Darren Chapman, told ABC15 the garden helps the community by giving them healthier options to choose from.

"I'm actually chewing on a little bit of kale right now," said Chapman.

According to Chapman, community gardens can replace abandoned lots and make for a safer community.

"This field right here and the backdrop here was a vacant lot and a lot of these lots will stay vacant for decades," he said.

Chapman told ABC15 that families can benefit from growing their own food because it's less expensive and healthier.

"You can learn to garden, they're very easy to put together," he said.

"And seed is cost-efficient; it's very inexpensive and you'll be feeling better, and you won't be spending as many dollars on healthcare," Chapman added.

In addition to growing their own fruits and vegetables, the TigerMountain Foundation teaches people how to grow their own garden.

You can also learn about what plants grow best during the different seasons with the Arizona Department of Health's guide to community gardens.