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Billings man plants crops in the hopes of raising money



Billings, Montana – According to a recent research, 12% of Montana children and 8.5% of all Montanans live in families where there is a food insecurity because to the high costs of housing and daycare following the epidemic.

By serving a platter of fresh fruit and veggies that were picked right out of his garden, one Billings resident aims to reverse these trends.

“With very little effort and very little money, we can create a lot of food,” said Elliott Oppenheim, who turned a large horse pasture on his six-acre property off of Highway 312. into a garden, planted with a specific purpose.

“We’re going to give the food away,” Oppenheim said.

The garden will be planted with maize, squash, tomatoes, melon, onions, and other produce in its inaugural season. These produce will be given to nearby food banks, shelters, and religious organizations.

“There’s a big problem with people who are underserved and have low incomes having adequate food, especially vegetables,” Oppenheim said.

A new set of difficulties for putting food on the table in Montana homes following the pandemic are revealed in the 2023 Montana Hunger Report, which was published by the Montana Food Bank Network in April.

According to the report, despite a significant increase in government funding and initiatives that helped reduce general patterns of food insecurity in Montana, post-pandemic issues with housing and childcare costs are having an influence on Montanans’ ability to buy food.

Before starting his garden, Oppenheim claimed he made sure his food donations would be accepted by the appropriate groups.

“My hope would be that people seeing this will see the utility in their own land of making a garden and giving it all away,” Oppenheim said.


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