When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through North America last March, Kimbal Musk and Frank Giustra were both thinking a lot about food. The two business titans-turned-social entrepreneurs didn’t know each other yet. But, from different vantage points, each wanted to help families who were struggling to afford groceries gain greater access to healthy meals.
Musk is the co-founder of Big Green, a national nonprofit that since 2011 has built hundreds of learning gardens in underserved schools. As many schools closed to in-person instruction during pandemic shutdowns, those efforts were temporarily halted. Musk began exploring ways to pivot Big Green’s resources toward feeding families hard-it by economic upheaval.
Giustra is the publisher of Modern Farmer, an online magazine dedicated to covering how food is grown, produced, and prepared, as well as the political implications of our food system. When people began quarantining at home, traffic to sections of the website that offer gardening tips spiked. A lightbulb went off for Giustra that home gardens could be a low-cost way to help families facing food insecurity supplement their diets.
By a stroke of serendipity, Musk and Giustra were introduced to one another last summer by a mutual friend. They soon discovered their shared passions for healthy food and philanthropy. “Kimbal and I are two peas in a pod,” says Giustra, using an apt garden analogy.
When Giustra proposed uniting the resources of Big Green and Modern Farmer to inspire people to plant home gardens, Musk enthusiastically agreed. The idea for a new movement was born.
The goal for the Million Gardens Movement, which the pair officially launched March 20 of this year, is as ambitious as the name implies: mobilizing a million new gardeners to grow their own food by the end of 2021. Anyone can join as a gardener or supporter—no green thumb required…