COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gardening can spruce up a community little-by-little, but it can also help families in need, and one Ohio woman is working to accomplish both. 

What You Need To Know

  • Julialynne Walker founded the Bethany Bronzeville Community Garden 

  • She started the garden to fight food insecurity, mostly by growing produce and distributing to families in need 

  • Walker has plans on expanding the garden, hoping to continue helping others

Gardening comes naturally to Julialynne Walker. 

She grows everything from fresh produce to spices at the Bethany Bronzeville Community Garden. 

"It's something I can do by myself,” said Walker. “Then I love to eat, so the final result I enjoy to the max."

But Walker decided she wanted more out of gardening. These days, she's doing it for charity. 

Walker grew this garden a decade ago, and with time and a little attention, she's supplied families with produce through church and the Bronzeville Growers Market, mostly helping those in need around Columbus. 

She also teaches others how to grow their own gardens. Walker said it solves the problem of food insecurity. 

"The level of unemployment is so high that we know that it adversely impacts the ability of people to care for themselves,” said Walker. 

According to the American Association of Retired People, more than 7% of Ohioans in their 50s and older face food insecurity, or don't have access to nutritious food. 

But Walker says growing healthy foods for yourself or others can change that. 

As long as Walker's gardening, she hopes her work resonates with others, especially those dealing with food insecurity.  

"Everyone should grow a tomato plant,” said Walker, “and I think if people just appreciate what it takes to do that, grow that, and enjoy the fruit of the plant. I think that will lead you to think about how you can creatively address your situation." 

Walker hopes to continue to address food insecurity by expanding her gardens and other growing initiatives.