Rosie could lose her garden this week. Please act today! Email not displaying correctly?
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KITCHEN GARDENERS INTERNATIONAL
4-year-old Rosie at play in her veggie garden
Dear Kitchen Gardener,

We don’t do this often, but we urgently need to ask for your help to save a kitchen garden that is being threatened by misguided and shortsighted policy makers who are hurting the very people they are meant to help.

What’s different and particularly sad about this case compared to past gardens we’ve defended is the vulnerable nature of the gardeners in question: a 4-year-old girl and her severely disabled single mom who risk losing their garden this week if we don’t rally together to support them.

There are two ways you can help:
1) You can sign our petition on Causes.com here: http://www.causes.com/save-rosies-vegetable-garden
2) You can send an email directly to the policy makers in question using the sample text below or, if you use firefox, you can try this link

It’s World Kitchen Garden Day this Sunday. Let’s use the next three days to show what a global network of food gardeners is capable of by defending the right to good food and gardens for all.

Many thanks,

Roger Doiron
Founding Director
Kitchen Gardeners International

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Background:

Rosie is a vibrant 4-year-old girl living with her single, severely disabled mom in a subsidized housing unit in rural South Dakota. In May 2013, Rosie’s mother, Mary, converted a small unused area outside their apartment into a vegetable garden. Although the garden is compact, it produces a variety of healthy greens which Rosie and Mary could otherwise not easily afford on their fixed income ($628/month in disability payments) while also providing a safe play area for Rosie just outside her own backdoor. Now their property management company has ordered that the garden be removed this week saying that it goes against the rules set by USDA’s Rural Development Agency which doesn’t allow residents to have structures of any sort in landscaped areas. Please join us in sending the message that everyone deserves to have access to gardens and healthy food, especially the most vulnerable people in society.

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(Please note: To protect their identities, we are not disclosing Rosie and Mary’s real names or exact location in South Dakota. Their story, however, is very real and anyone wishing to know more about why Kitchen Gardeners International is helping them can contact me by email roger@kgi.org or phone 207.956.0606)

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SEND DIRECTOR MEEKS AN EMAIL:

To: elsie.meeks@sd.usda.gov Cc: roger.hazuka@sd.usda.gov, roger@kgi.org

Subject: Allow USDA-subsidized housing residents to grow vegetable gardens

Message body:

Dear Director Meeks,

I urge you to make a loud and clear statement to all the property management companies your agency contracts that USDA-subsidized residents have the right to keep their own vegetable gardens provided that these gardens are actively maintained. Vegetable gardens grow healthy and affordable foods as well as a sense of community. Rather than preventing low-income and disabled residents from providing for themselves, we should be doing everything we can to encourage them. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

(Your name, your town, your state)

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