JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Jacob Inosencio is the founder of Grow Jackson, a non-profit dedicated to ending food insecurity in Jackson.
“People can just walk up. Take what they need, share with their neighbors, donate what they can if they would like to support that programming, but completely free for the community,” said Inosencio.
The group serves in several ways, including at free farmer’s market stands, but before the food is set out around town, the seeds need to be planted.
That’s why Inosencio has spent more than a year working on a community garden at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, to work on providing food for the neighborhood as well as the Jackson community.
“I’m one person who really believes in gardening and believes in the power of community and the power of wellness and centralizing, and focusing on fresh food, but it takes a village,” said Inosencio.
Inosencio is teaming up with Diane Washington, who has dedicated her life to serving Jackson through her own non-profit called Young People of Purpose.
Washington’s goal is to get more kids involved in the community.
“I wanted to do a positive lens on our youth and come together and do an organization that was going to give leadership in a positive way,” said Washington.
Additionally, she also runs her own garden just a few blocks away.
Now side by side, Inosencio and Washington are working together to not only grow fruit and veggies for their community, but they’re also working to help cultivate the minds of kids and improve their relationships with food through programming at the two gardens.
“Food is an essential part of their bodies. We don’t want them to feel like they have to feel like they are in need at all times and that they can provide for themselves, and they can make resources for their own self’s and be able to live a life where they can give back and take from,” said Washington.
Inosencio says together with Washington, he hopes the growth in these gardens can help the Jackson community for years to come.
“It takes a community to make change and to impact positive things happening in the community, so I’m just thankful to be a part of a space and neighborhood and a town that believes in that too,” said Inosencio.
Summer programs for kids will be opening soon.