shinei gibbs headshot

The “denovo project” Blueprint was designed to provide low income and struggling families access to healthy food through the vehicle of highly nutritious and low maintenance gardens in order to focus on the food justice and equality problems of under privileged families. It’s goal was to present training and mentorship to families not only help improve their nutrition, but also to reduce dependence on food stamps, lower grocery bills, and decrease family budgeting. In addition to this, health, and mental acuity through nutrition also benefitted. This was due to the problem in which low income families tend to shop for mass produced and low quality foods that perpetuate poverty and debt by creating long term health problems due to the additives in the food. The nutritious gardens are a form of preventative care as the right nutrients are always the best guard against disease, with the added benefit of allowing families to stay on a great grocery budget if food was grown at home without cost. During Shinei’s 2012 Senior Fellowship, she successfully brought 12 families to completion in gardening, in which 1 person started their own nonprofit and aquaponics garden, and 5 families/individuals continued to grow foods on their own without her help. One of the enrolled families had a dad who was suffering from terminal cancer; he and his wife benefited from the fresh vegetables and herbs within the garden. Her original blueprint in 2010 only had 7 families enroll, where only 5 families seriously committed themselves to the project and grew vegetables. Unfortunately after the very first blueprint no one continued to grow without her mentorship. Thus, she changed her screening process and also her implementation strategy for the second stage. A few of the people she met during this project also became lifelong friends.