Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2018

Currently: 55° — Complete forecast

12 Days of Giving: Vegas Roots

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Wade Vandervort / Special to The Sunday

Okra, a cantaloupe and gardening tools are seen at an organic garden at McCall Elementary School, in North Las Vegas, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

Editor’s Note: While ’tis the season of giving for most Nevadans, many local nonprofit groups give back to the Southern Nevada community year-round. The Las Vegas Sun is profiling some of those groups to inform the community how they can help. To be included, contact [email protected]

The ZIP code in Southern Nevada with the most residents who are food insecure, according to Three Square food bank, also grows its solution — the Vegas Roots community garden.

An estimated 26.5 percent of residents living in the 89106 ZIP code are food insecure, which is linked to chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, according to a July USDA report.

The Vegas Roots community garden, 715 N. Tonopah Drive, was founded more than seven years ago after 5 acres of land was donated to Rosalind Brooks, the organization’s founder. Brooks hopes the garden will help people understand the link between diet and health, in addition to addressing food insecurity in Las Vegas.

“We need to pass this information down to the children who are coming up,” Brooks said. “We have a really, really high obesity rate, we have a high disease rate, especially in the minority communities.”

Vegas Roots volunteers can help now by cleaning the garden and giving it a fresh coat of paint, Brooks said. Planting in the green house is scheduled for January.

Other ways to help:

• Become a Vegas Roots member for $10, which goes toward paying interns and buying soil and chicken feed.

• Share posts of Vegas Roots on social media.

• Sign up to be a part of the weekly food co-op, Veggie Bags.

• Build a backyard garden through Vegas Root’s edible yard program.

• Buy fresh produce from the Veggie Buck Truck.

Go to Vegas Roots website, email [email protected] or call (702) 636-4152

Getting your hands in the soil is often an inspiration to do more, Brooks said. “You’re volunteering in the garden, and now you want to plant your own food and now you want to eat a little bit better and now you want to shop at farmers markets. It really just snowballs.” she said.