HUGS in the Community
HUGS assisted in the installation of gardens for Hamilton City Elementary Schools. When you bring a garden to a school, you create an outdoor classroom that gives students a hands-on opportunity to learn math, science, reading and writing. These gardens not only teach the customary curriculum but also educate the students on the importance of environmental stewardship.
HUGS has worked in partnership with Miami University in establishing a community garden on the Hamilton Campus. This garden serves the staff and students by providing them access to local, fresh, organic produce. HUGS also collaborates with Miami University professors as a community partner in the implementation of students Service Learning Projects. Through these projects students learn the basic operations of a non-profit organization.
HUGS was instrumental in assisting the creation of the City of Hamilton Urban Agriculture Ordinance allowing gardens to be established on empty lots within the city. HUGS is also collaborating with the City of Hamilton in securing funding to establish community gardens in city neighborhoods.
HUGS works with local at risk youth organizations including the EDGE Teen Center, Pastor Shaq’s Job Mentoring Program and the Booker T. Washington Community Center to teach the importance of being self-sufficient and giving back through community service. Participating in the growing process, from planting to harvesting, they are able to realize the economic opportunities offered by being employed in a sustainable food system workplace.
HUGS has established, managed and participated in Hamilton’s local Farmers Markets. Through these direct distribution channels HUGS provides a source of fresh, local, organic produce to market customers.
HUGS has worked with multiple outreach organization across Hamilton including local food pantries and meal services. HUGS provides fresh produce that might not otherwise be available to these organizations for their clients.
Through HUGS collaboration with agencies devoted to developmentally disadvantaged individuals alternate gardening techniques were created. Techniques such as straw bale gardening and roof top gardens offer an opportunity to garden in a safe and accessible environment.