Like many underfunded urban communities, South Central LA represents what is commonly called a “food desert,” or a district where fast food and corner stores greatly outnumber access to fresh produce. Currently an estimated 26.5 million Americans live in food deserts—a statistic Ron Finley aims to change with a concept he calls guerilla gardening. Finley and the volunteer-based LA Green Grounds organization plant “food forests” on abandoned lots, traffic medians and sidewalk parkways. After winning a fight with the city of Los Angeles Finley’s efforts continue to gain force, as seen in his recent TED talk this week, where he told his inspiring tale in full, dropping more notable quotes than we could manage to jot down.
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