Oklahoma ranks 43rd among all states for overall health and we come in last for our fruit and vegetable consumption. There are several things that contribute to these statistics. Oklahoma’s low median income and high poverty levels, as well as the high density of fast food and convenient stores in many of our communities.
Another factor is that access to good, nutrition food is limited in much of Oklahoma. 32 of our 77 counties are classified as food deserts, meaning at least 25 percent of the population lives ten miles or more from a supermarket. We have nine counties classified as severe food deserts,” meaning that the entire population has limited access to healthy food.
One way Oklahomans can help improve our states health and increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables is to grow our own food. One Oklahoman is teaching her daycare children to do just that. Christina Kamp has been teaching children in her home for 18 years. For the past two years she has been teaching them to grow a sustainable garden, Little Sprouts Learning Garden, without the use of synthetic chemicals.
Teaching children to garden has many benefits for the children and our communities. One benefit is that, children are more likely to try fruits and vegetables that they have grown. Many children also lack basic knowledge of fresh food due to their lack of access, this encourages them to make poor food choices later in life. By exposing kids to healthy, fresh foods early in life helps them to make better and healthier choices as teens and adults.
Kamp has the opportunity to expand her current garden and continue this great mission. They need some supplies to help expand the garden and are asking for donations to help fund the project. They currently produce almost 300 pounds of produce, enough to feed the kids for several days a week throughout the growing season. Their hope is that with the expansion they can grow enough to feed the kids everyday throughout the growing season and preserve food for other times during the year as well.
You can help Little Sprouts Learning Garden by donating to their Indiegogo campaign. There are 12 days left for the campaign and every dollar counts. Share with your friends and family. Together with people like Christina Kamp, we can give Oklahoman’s children a healthier future.