Million Gardens Movement Encourages Home Gardening

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH
Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series

Policy name: Million Gardens Movement

Overview: The online magazine Modern Farmer and nonprofit organization Big Green have started the Million Gardens Movement, encouraging millions of North Americans to grow their own food in home or community gardens. 

Location: North America

Population: 596.6 million

Food policy category: Sustainable agriculture, food security, nutrition

Program goals: To mobilize one million people to grow their own food.

How it works: The Movement’s website provides online lessons and resources for individuals who are interested in starting their own home gardens, along with recipes demonstrating how to cook and eat homegrown produce. Individuals and families are encouraged to register to show their commitment to the movement and share photos of their gardens using the hashtag #MillionGardens. 

Donations to the movement will also provide gardening kits with step-by-step instructions and family-friendly activities for underserved families.

In addition, Modern Farmer plans to connect home gardeners with local food banks so they can donate excess produce.

Progress to date: The movement was announced on March 15 and officially launched on March 20, 2021. Five thousand gardening kits were donated to students and families across Chicago in the first week of the program. 

Why it is important: The Movement was developed in response to the detrimental effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy and food security. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, even prior to the pandemic, 700 million people globally were experiencing chronic hunger, and two billion people lacked particular micronutrients that are key to overall health. 

Growing produce at home may help individuals to save money on groceries, increase access to healthy produce, and improve the nutritional quality of their diets, thereby reducing food insecurity and malnutrition.   

Program/Policy initiated: The movement was officially launched on Plant a Seed Day, March 20, 2021.

Point of contact: 
Million Gardens Movement

Similar practices: During World Wars I and II the victory gardens movement encouraged Americans to grow their own food wherever possible in order to avoid food shortages. 

Evaluation: Evaluation has not yet been conducted, as the movement is still in its early stages. 

Learn more: 


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