Mission and Values
Village Gardens builds neighborhood economic and food resilience through leadership development, employment opportunities and a community-based food system model. Village Gardens works in partnership with community leaders to create additional opportunities for advancing equity in a community disproportionately impacted by poverty and hunger.
Village Gardens has roots in three North Portland low-income housing neighborhoods; Cathedral Gardens, Tamaracks and New Columbia. These neighborhoods are defined by some of the county’s highest poverty rates, large concentrations of non-English speaking residents and people of color, limited service infrastructure and limited access to fresh, healthy, affordable food. Residents have long been challenged by issues of food security and marginal community development. 69% of residents are people of color (26% is the average for all of Multnomah County). 83% of children and youth live in poverty. 46% of households are headed by single mothers. 42% of the population is under age 18. 75% of the community is eligible for SNAP benefits. 95% of children are on free or reduced lunch.
Village Gardens builds on 15 years of community-led solutions to create a multi-layered program that enriches the present and future opportunities for communities. Village Gardens has created a cohesive neighborhood based food system that is in response to the need for all communities to have access to healthy and fresh food regardless of income. In parallel, Village Gardens provides the employment and leadership development that is a foundation for communities working for change.