Healthy eating is known to be important for living a healthy life, but for some it may not be realistic or budget friendly to sustain. Real, organic foods are often perceived to be more expensive than the unhealthy alternative, and the searches on“eating healthy on a budget” have increased over the years because of this. According to The Washington Post, “the marketplace and the media appear to have taught most U.S. consumers to expect foods with special health properties to command a premium price.” This may be true in some instances, but there are ways to increase your access to healthy food options without breaking the bank – one of those ways is through a community garden.
What is a Community Garden?
A community garden is a shared plot of land where people gather together to grow fresh veggies and flowers. It’s an opportunity for neighborhoods to turn an unused piece of space into an area full of green and colorful vegetables. These gardens are shared and tended by the surrounding community. They benefit those around them as a resource that they may not have the opportunity to enjoy otherwise due to time and land restrictions. Community gardens, like any garden, require a lot of care and attention, but one of many benefits to them is that there are many gardeners coming together to share knowledge and collectively maintain the space.
Benefits of Having a Community Garden
Aside from having the collaboration to keep the space alive and flourishing, community gardens have so many benefits for not only the community but society as a whole. As stated by the CDC, these benefits include access to healthy fruits and vegetables, engaging in physical activity, revitalizing communities in industrial areas and public parks, decreasing violence in some neighborhoods, and improving the overall well-being through strengthening social connections. Gardening may be intimidating and difficult for some if they don’t have the knowledge or resources to maintain a garden, but with the help of the community, these gardens take much of the intimidation and isolation out of it.
How to Start a Community Garden
Do you live in a neighborhood that has unused space or could benefit from a community garden? Starting a community garden may sound overwhelming at first, but this post provides a great guide in how to start a garden in your neighborhood with 6 steps:
- Organize a committee of like minds and diverse talents
- Present it to your local governing bodies
- Pick a site
- Find a sponsor
- Prepare the site for planting
- Design the layout of the garden to accommodate the unique personality of the community
How to Fundraise for a Community Garden
Whether your community garden has been established for years or you’re just getting started, fundraising can benefit your community garden to raise money for tools or other maintenance needs. Chipotle hosts fundraisers for a number of organizations a day, including community gardens. Each of our restaurants is committed to supporting and giving back to local groups through fundraisers. Here are 3 easy steps to hosting a fundraiser:
- Apply: Apply for your Chipotle fundraiser online here. For your fundraiser application, you will be prompted to select a restaurant and date/time. Please select the closest restaurant for your organization and supporters and select a date and time that will work with everyone’s schedules. Please note that your organization will need a tax ID in order to submit an application and receive a check following your fundraiser.
- Promote: Once your fundraiser has been approved, it’s time to promote it! Chipotle provides fundraiser flyers and other sharing tools for all approved fundraisers, so take advantage of them and spread the word. Remember, the more supporters you bring in for your fundraiser, the more money your organization will raise and receive in the end!
- Earn: The day of the fundraiser, all supporters must either come into the restaurant and tell the cashier that they are there for the fundraiser, or use the digital fundraiser code when ordering online for pickup, in order for their meal to be counted. Once your fundraiser is complete and the meals have been accounted for, your organization will receive an email with the results from your event. Chipotle will then send your organization a check for 33% of all event sales, provided your fundraiser has met the $300 minimum sales requirement.
Similar to community gardens, Chipotle fundraisers are a great way to gather the community together with real food. They help you raise money for the tools that your garden needs and are one of the many ways in which Chipotle works towards cultivating a better world. We are dedicated to giving back to the community and share your passion for real, fresh food. Let us know how your Chipotle fundraiser helped your community garden by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.