Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz program installing garden beds for neighborhoods in need

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Victory Garden Initiative, which supports at-risk communities by creating community gardens, was out building some new garden beds for neighborhoods across Milwaukee Thursday afternoon, May 12.

"With the food scarcity that the pandemic brought about, the inflated prices and just food being overall less nutritious, it's really important to us that we share what we have with our people so that they have an opportunity to not only learn how to garden, but get their own fresh food," said Crystal Ayad, who purchased community garden beds.

Ayad had eight garden beds installed at her home with the goal of helping those around her. This was possible thanks to the Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz Program, which helps in building garden beds at a discounted price for at-risk neighborhoods.

Ayad said four of the eight garden beds will be shared with friends and family, and eventually the neighborhood. She has pet chickens and shares eggs they provide to those around her. She has been using the program since 2019.

"It creates more of a sense of a gardening community in the city of Milwaukee. It just really creates a space for people to get to know each other, to share resources, to share vegetables, to share knowledge," said Lexi Mulhern, Victory Garden Initiative’s chief of operations.

Members of the Victory Garden Initiative and volunteers from MLG Capital teamed up for the exciting project Thursday, saying this is a crucial time to be doing this with rising prices on groceries.

"Being able to provide the community with an opportunity to grow their own produce, fresh produce that is organic, is really important to us so it teaches people healthy eating and healthy living as well," said Tyler Taves, a volunteer from MLG Capital.

"It's so important because something like this, we would not have been able to afford these garden beds had we purchased this ourselves out of pocket so it has been a huge blessing to be able to get it at the discount that we got it at. Also, because this community has a bigger issue of poverty, it's really important that we are able to access this because this is really accessible. It's not expensive. All we really need at this point is knowledge on how to take advantage of it," said Ayad.

Victory Garden Blitz has a goal every year of installing 500 gardens across the city. For the past 14 years, they have helped in feeding thousands of families through these garden beds and hope to continue making a big impact in the city.

"The standard price of a garden is $200 and the discount zone is $25 so it’s a discount that allows more inner city residents to be able to get gardens and continue to spread that knowledge," said Mulhern.

You can sponsor a Blitz Garden and volunteer with the initiative as well. Additional details can be found HERE

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