For the past two years Rock Steady Farm has been working with Community Access to build a new urban farming initiative, aimed at building community and giving low-income tenants and tenants with mental health diagnoses access to healthy, organic food.

This initiative addresses many aspects of participants’ well-being by:

  • Promoting healthier eating habits
  • Inviting participants to grow and harvest crops and come together to prepare meals as a community
  • Encouraging participants to make more informed decisions about their lives

Rock Steady makes weekly deliveries to Community Access so that people living in their assisted housing can eat community meals together and host tenant-lead cooking classes.

Urban farming is part of Community Access’ larger focus on the health and wellness of our program participants, and is one important way we are encouraging our participants to pursue wellness in a proactive, community-based way. It allows tenants and staff to farm in their own backyard, using raised beds built by tenants and staff.

Too many people with mental health diagnoses and who live in poverty lack access to healthy, organic food—which is one of the reasons that people with mental health diagnoses tend to live 25-years less than the general population. By promoting food justice, we are changing the system from the bottom-up and producing better outcomes of overall health. Urban farming gives our participants another choice about how to build healthier lives.