Ian Mckenna (11, Austin, Texas) became a fighter of childhood hunger in his local community from a young age. He combined his passion for gardening and nutrition with a desire to help others to found Giving Garden, which provides food through local school and community gardens to low-income families. Ian is eager to fight hunger in Austin, Texas and is planning to take his project to the international level. Ian’s ultimate goal is to help fight hunger in the greater Austin area through providing organically grown produce using sustainable methods of farming and sharing his experience with fellow students on how to grow and prepare their own food.
When Ian discovered that some of the kids in his community did not have equal access to food, he was determined to solve this issue. To start Giving Garden, Ian acquired training on planting and nutrition through special courses and practical advice from gardeners. Ian decided to make his gardens sustainable and organic so that the food recipients would not have to worry about their health in the future.
In addition to delivering sustainable and organic food to low-income families, Ian teaches his peers in the local community how to prepare the fresh produce from Giving Garden. By doing so, Ian hopes to share his love of cooking and engage young people in solving the food insecurity dilemma. He currently has three gardens at area schools and is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters on planning a teaching garden at a new mentoring facility.
Ian believes that he can provide free access to produce for anyone in need. He is currently feeding 54 families and donating food to local soup kitchens and food banks. Through his work, Ian has engaged over 170 volunteers, raised $8,500, built 18 raised beds, and planted 21 fruit trees. Ian has also hosted several cooking demonstrations at local schools and raised awareness on childhood hunger among youth.