Love, Tito’s Block to Block program has teamed up with Trap Garden, a local nonprofit organization, to launch a month-long $25k matching campaign.
Founded by Robert “Rob Veggies” Horton and Kanita Hutchinson, Trap Garden focuses on increasing the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables through the gardens in Middle Tennessee communities.
With their campaign and the funds raised, the nonprofit hopes to purchase a mobile vehicle that will increase their impact around Middle Tennessee, reaching even more untapped neighborhoods and providing them with fresh food and educational programming on how to grow the produce.
“Our block to block mission is to reconnect neighborhoods and communities one block at a time, with an emphasis on providing fresh and easy access to healthy foods so it inspires healthy eating,” said Zack Flores, Love, Tito’s national philanthropic program manager. “
Love, Tito’s is a vodka distillery based in Austin, Texas. On its website it says “we’re turning spirits into love and goodness by growing community gardens and farms across the country, one block at a time,” about its Block to Block program.
The partnership between the two stems from 2019, as Trap Garden’s innovativeness and previous work inspired Flores and others at the Love, Tito’s program.
“The community network they already had established caught our eye,” Flores said. “It is something we really value.”
After meeting and discussing the ideas to improve the accessibility of fresh food, the partnership was solidified and the partners have not looked back since.
Along with the two’s matching campaign, Love, Tito’s and Trap Garden have teamed up for a series of projects that are based around gardening.
One of the projects is their popular GroBox Kit, which consists of soil, seedlings and other educational resources to help individuals grow fresh food at home.
Their hopes with these boxes are to strengthen and bring communities together by encouraging more gardens, leading to more fresh produce.
As for the inspiration behind Trap Garden, it comes from Horton’s background of personal experiences and frustration.
He experienced a lack of food that was fresh and affordable growing up in St. Louis, Missouri.
The struggle followed Horton as he relocated to Nashville to attend Tennessee State University, having to drive miles away from his home just to find a grocery store that supplied high-quality produce.
“Trap Garden honestly started out of frustration with me not being able to find fresh produce around me,” Horton said. “Whether it was trying to find foods like avocados or quinoa, I didn’t even have the option if I wanted to.”
He hopes that no one else has to experience such a situation, which is fueling the Trap Garden movement with Love, Tito’s.
“It’s not just about providing them with the fresh food,” he said. “It’s also about creating exposure to raise awareness for this problem and make sure this availability is sustainable.”
Both Hutchinson and Horton are excited for the future of the garden, saying this is only the beginning.
“We are trying to find more and more communities that we can positively impact and see what their needs are,” Horton said. “We want people to join the Trap Garden family.”
“We’re making a difference in Nashville, but we want to continue that outside of this city and states where individuals are struggling to find fresh produce,” Hutchinson said.
For more information about Trap Garden, visit its website at www.trapgarden.org.