Letters to the Editor

Food security: small idea, big dividends


Keith Burris, in his Sept. 3 commentary, “Small ideas to produce a big debate,” cites five “small” constructive ideas that he believes will advance prosperity, wellness, and civic engagement in our Toledo community.

As Mr. Burris rightfully points out, small investments can produce big results on behalf of Toledo citizens, especially in this period of slow economic recovery.

I especially congratulate his endorsement of Toledo GROWS and other efforts designed to restore a measure of local food security.

One in six households in Ohio struggles with hunger, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ohio ranks 9th nationally for families experiencing food insecurity on a regular basis.

Our neighbors are fighting back against food insecurity through innovative in-city growing platforms that produce food. These efforts hold the potential for transition to food-based entrepreneurship, while igniting a community spirit of independence and greater self-sufficiency.

Supporting and expanding community gardens on vacant property can help Toledo restore its natural luster. These gardens and four-season, covered growing systems establish nutrient-rich production in neighborhoods, restore healthy living, and reconnect urban residents to the natural environment.

As Congress considers the federal Farm Bill and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, challenges of unemployment, better nutrition, and hunger are very real for many families in our community.

Thanks go to Mr. Burris for understanding that Toledo, built on lakebed soils, can indeed be “A City in a Garden.”


U.S. Representative 9th Congressional District Toledo