More than 200 Comcast employees, family and friends converged on Tacoma’s Hilltop on April 22 to build nine new gardens for the Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG) farm network. The work was part of the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day, where Comcast employees give back to their communities. Nearly 30 projects were completed around Washington state over the weekend.
Around Hilltop, work included trash pickup and debris removal, building and planting garden beds, building fences, building or repairing hot houses, mowing lawns and painting signs. Each new garden is 2,500 square feet and will help feed 25-30 households each week. Every Saturday in season, HUG shares produce at its HUG Grub Neighborhood Farm Stand.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Dean Jackson, HUG’s founder and director. “It would have taken us months to finish what we did here in just one day. I can’t thank Comcast and their families enough.”
Founded in late 2010 by Jackson, HUG is a community-based urban agriculture, justice and equity organization. HUG partners with the community to grow healthy food, young people and neighbors. It seeks to inspire the community to live with abundance while understanding and interrupting the root causes of economic poverty, wealth accumulation and systems of oppression. HUG’s mission is to develop systems for food sovereignty and to create racial and economic justice.
All the volunteer labor allowed HUG to do more than build gardens. Jackson was particularly keen on canvassing the neighborhood to talk with residents. “We’re so disconnected as a society,” she said. “When we can come together as a community we can help each other. This is an area that has more challenges that most. We need each other. Today was a great start.”