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4/15/2017 6:56:00 PM
Urban, local Indiana farms fight food insecurity
Austin Kasso sets up garden towers Monday, April 3, 2017, in a lot near Wabash Avenue and Ellsworth streets in Lafayette. Kasso will grow a variety of vegetables in 12 garden towers. He plans to give 30 percent of what he grows away for free. The remaining 70 percent will be sold through City Foods and in local farmers markets. Staff photo by John Terhune
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Austin Kasso sets up garden towers Monday, April 3, 2017, in a lot near Wabash Avenue and Ellsworth streets in Lafayette. Kasso will grow a variety of vegetables in 12 garden towers. He plans to give 30 percent of what he grows away for free. The remaining 70 percent will be sold through City Foods and in local farmers markets. Staff photo by John Terhune

Jeremy Ervin, Journal and Courier

LAFAYETTE — Despite Indiana being among the most productive farming states, many of its residents lack access to healthy, affordable food. But an ongoing movement by urban and rural farmers is working to get fresh, nutritious, local produce to people who need it.

Indiana ranked within the top 10 most productive agriculture states in 2015, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. But between 2013 and 2015, the USDA found an average of 14.8 percent of Indiana households to be food insecure — with 6.1 percent experiencing "very low" food security.

The USDA defines food insecurity as "the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways."

In response, urban farms and other local food sharing initiatives have been popping up in places like Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, with the movement growing in Lafayette.

"It's really sad that you can buy a can of coke or a bag of chips for cheaper than a couple bell peppers or some really good tomatoes," said Johnathan Lawler of Brandywine Creek Farms in Greenville.

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