College Kid is Growing Produce on a Landfill to Feed Her City

University of Texas at Austin Economics student, Joy Youwakim, is transforming food deserts in her hometown. After seeing an opportunity to regenerate a landfill near Austin, Texas, she worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for over a year to secure paperwork and permits which would allow her to farm on the 330-acre plot of land. Since securing approval, crops such as cantaloupe, radishes, cucumbers, and green onions have been successfully planted and ensured by the Food Safety Net Services that the crops are safe to eat.

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In Austin, as in many cities across the U.S., communities surrounding landfills often struggle economically. These economic struggles manifest in various ways within the community including water quality and conservation, food waste, and food deserts. Many locals surrounding food-deserted areas purchase their food at nearby gas stations. Regenerating landfills has the potential to meet the nutritional needs of thousands in struggling communities across the United States.