The traditional, highly manicured lawn exerts a high environmental price for no functional value and is a missed opportunity to provide much needed resources to those in poverty. Imagine if our lawns were transformed into gardens–managed personally or with the help of local nonprofits–to provide low-cost, high-quality and healthy food to the millions of people experiencing food insecurity across the country.

Summer is a particularly abundant time for growing and also one of the most difficult times to ensure impoverished children–who are home from school and therefore not receiving school meals–are adequately fed. With half of all public school children residing in impoverished households, this is truly a crisis. By changing our vision of the ideal suburban landscape, we could dramatically improve environmental outcomes in our neighborhoods as well as increase access to fresh, affordable, and healthy foods lacking in so many homes across America.