Growing Families is one of TLW’s newest programs. It’s mission is to help reduce poverty by training new entrepreneurs. The pilot uses urban agriculture as a vocational tool for employment and/or agri-business development. The aimed is to improve economic and health outcomes for families who are living at or below the poverty level.
Through Growing Families, parents learn best practices in urban agriculture, job readiness, entrepreneurial skills, appropriate coping strategies, and financial literacy. Financial training includes goal setting, money management, debt reduction and saving strategies as well as information about resources like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
Adults participate in a 12 week training program for 10-12 hours per week. Upon successful completion, they will continue to receive mentoring, monitoring and technical support for 6 months to transition into agri-business opportunities or employment.
Children ages 5-8 will have the opportunity to be engaged in gardening and other farm related activities to learn how to grow their own food, make better food choices and become environmental stewards.
From taste tests to field trips to local urban farms, children will gain a healthy relationship with food and the environment. The program is designed to adapt to a wide variety of learning styles and abilities. Growing Families is free to participants and is funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.