Growing Solutions: Food insecurity in Buncombe County and the surrounding regions may be on the rise. But a new season brings a renewed effort from local community gardens, who are fighting hunger with food and a sense of belonging. (Carrie Eidson/ Mountain Xpress)

Together we grow: How gardens are raising food and creating community

Feeding America estimates that 100,000 people in Western North Carolina are experiencing food insecurity. Winter heating bills, new restrictions to food stamp eligibility and rising medical costs may be increasing situational poverty.  But if a lack of access to food is a growing problem, some across the region are working on a growing solution. Read more in part two of our series looking at how community gardens are fighting hunger — from the ground up.

As the new growing season approaches, community gardens in Western North Carolina will face their annual challenge: making sure no one goes hungry and no food goes to waste.

Growing community gardens: How networks of growers seek to end food waste and hunger

Each year, area food assistance programs seek out locally grown produce in their fight against food insecurity. But as some services struggle to provide enough food, some growers face an overabundance of certain crops — which may end up in a compost pile or rotting on the stock. Part one of our two-part series on community gardens looks at how growers are working together to eliminate food waste — and fighting hunger from the ground up.