Food Is Free Washington
The 20% Initiative
Our supply chains are fragile
Our global supply chains for food and other goods are not as stable as we assumed they were. At the beginning of the global pandemic in 2020 we saw empty store shelves and across the board shortages in many grocery stores. Supply chains running from South America and the far east are susceptible to major disruptions from even relatively minor events. Most Americans only have a few days of food on hand. Food chain disruptions can have serious consequences for people in that position.
Producing our food locally helps stabilize our food supply
If we look to the previous century and the Victory Garden Movement, we can find a very successful program that was able to produce 40% of the domestic consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in 1944. That was the height of the movement with an estimated 8 million gardens. The program brought municipalities, social clubs, and schools together with the federal government to encourage and educate gardeners.
The World Health Organization recommends each adult eat approximately 1 pound of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. 20% of this works out to about 75 pounds per year per adult.
In Tacoma the 20% Initiative would be almost 8000 tons. That’s a big number! We can count all the Puyallup and Orting farms since they would be local. Along with the commercial farms we can also have home gardeners help with achieving our goal.
Let’s build a garden for your family
Food Is Free Washington can help
We’ve got volunteers and staff that can help build your very own streetside garden! We build our gardens in the right of way between the sidewalk and street, and we will help plant, maintain, harvest, and distribute the produce.
With good soil and close planting, you might estimate a yield of about 1 pound of fresh produce per square foot per year. Just one of our FIG projects with two raised beds (96 square feet) can provide 20% of the yearly produce for two families!