The "Growing Power" of Will Allen
In 2008, Will Allen, an urban agriculturalist, won $500,000 as the recipient of the MacArthur Genius award. His organization "Growing Power" is a shining example of the power of community gardens in underserved communities.
In 1993, Will Allen started
in hopes of rebuilding community food systems by teaching unemployed, mostly minority youth how to create healthy environments for urban agriculture. He grew his operations in Milwaukee through engaging the community in hands-on training, outreach and technical assistance to teach a new era of urban farmers how to grow, process, market and distribute sustainable food for all communities, regardless of economic status. He was named a 2008 MacArthur Genius and 2010 Time Magazine 100. In his own words, "if people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system."