Welcome to Our Community!
Located between Ann Arbor and Detroit, Ypsilanti is a small, diverse city of approximately 22,000 residents. Roughly 25 percent of Ypsilanti residents are food insecure and live well below the poverty line. In the adjacent neighborhood just south of the Growing Hope Center, the median income is less than $18,000. With 60 percent of the city's renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, many must choose between paying for utilities, rent, and medicine or for food for their families.Similar conditions exist for hundreds more living just outside the city's edge in the neighboring townships.
This equates to thousands of people, residing in a relatively small geographic area, who need increased access to both economic opportunity and affordable, nutritious foods, as poverty often has a direct negative impact on personal health. This impact is evident by the fact that more than half of those residing within the bounds of the Ypsilanti School District are overweight, while only 12 percent report eating the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended for healthy living. Like many facing hardships, residents of these communities are resilient, hopeful and eager to seize opportunities to better their lives when they arise.
Growing Hope is firmly rooted in neighborhoods where access to healthy food and economic opportunity has previously been in short supply. In Washtenaw County, this lack of access is most heavily concentrated in the city of Ypsilanti where Michigan's current economic turmoil amplified preexisting hardships brought on by decades of job loss and economic decline.
Residents of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and from across Washtenaw County come together, every day, to do the work that has helped Growing Hope become a nationally recognized contributor to increasing access to fresh, local produce for underserved populations. We rely on our strong community ties to individuals, small businesses and local government throughout Washtenaw County, and especially in Ypsilanti to help us serve our mission and make progress. We support local businesses every chance we can. Our Ypsilanti community, and our neighbors in the Ann Arbor area, are truly part of the Growing Hope Family. Together we will continue to educate, inspire and educate one another about gardening and healthy food access.