Public Park Helps Feed 200,000 People Every Month [Video]

Thousands of people go to bed hungry in the United States every day. Even though America is one of the richest countries in the world, many of its citizens don’t have the means to secure high quality, healthy foods for their families.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles of land sit vacant or unused. Some of these vacant parcels have market potential, writes Michael A. Pagano, but many won’t rebound soon, if ever. What if instead of allowing these lots to collect weeds and litter, cities helped residents to transform them using edible landscaping?

The City of Irvine decided to try just such an experiment. In 2008, the city was looking for a way to develop a 7-acre vacant lot that cost taxpayers over $4,000 a year to maintain (i.e. control the weeds). By collaborating with Southern California Edison and the Second Harvest Food Bank, among others, the City created the Incredible Edible park. Just over three years later, produce harvested from the park helps the food bank feed 200,000 hungry people every month. The site now also includes a bike trail that connects to the Irvine trail system and the City has plans to add additional acres in the future.

Watch the video below to take a tour of the park with John from Growing Your Greens, and ask yourself why there isn’t a park like this in every city.

Related Reading:

Gardening For A Change: On The Front Lines and the Home Front

From Small Seeds, Urban Farms Grow

Victory For San Francisco’s Free Farm Stand

Image Credit: Flickr- celesteh


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

that is so awesome!!

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

Awesome! So wish we had that in my town.

Mit W.
Mit Wes6 years ago

Omega, the article never claimed to grow enough food to feed 200,000 people on just 7 acres. It said it only helped feed 200,000 people from just 7 acres. Helped, though, could mean all they got was a salad or two per person per year. The article is a little vague though. What does it mean by 200,000 people per month? Does that mean an incredible 2.4 million per year from just 7 acres ?

A little math is in order here. First, there is 43560 square feet in an acre. Times 7, that makes 304920 square feet. That means only 1.52 square feet (12 by 18 inches) per person (if only 200,000 and not 2,400,000 people). That's hardly enough room to stand on, let alone grow enough food to feed that person standing on it !

Houston, er, i mean, Irvine, we have a problem !

People. When people make extraordinary claims, demand extraordinary, detailed evidence ! For a site that promotes so much vegetarianism, there sure is a lot of baloney being sold.

OmegaForPrez now
OmegaForPrez now6 years ago

Let's see, a 7 acre lot can produce enough food to feed 200,000 people. What they need to do in every city, is do this a bunch. Then donate some of the food to food kitchens and have people work there. Before you know it, homeless people would have a place to stay (on or near the farm or garden), they would have a job (work the farm and harvest) and could even help others by cooking the food for others. You could completely destroy the poverty and hunger rate in America. But it would never happen, because no one makes money off of this. As prez, I would do this in every city.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie C6 years ago

In a poor area of our city, the residents have a garden that they all take care of. It's only about the size of a block of houses, but it gives them fresh vegatables all summer and fall.

rene davis
irene davis6 years ago


Natasha Lopez
Natasha L6 years ago


DENNY GEORGE6 years ago

What an amazing way to put wastelands to good use! I wish there was atleast one community garden in the whole of my country :,(

George Marshall
George Marshall6 years ago

This is more like it. Smart innovative ideas to help both the environment and people. We need more thinkers like these people. These type of stories make me proud to be part of the human race. More please.