Triscuit crackers and a nonprofit organization that works to establish working farms on unused land are bringing their "home farming" concept to some low-income homes in Los Angeles and Chicago.
The plans for five community gardens — three in Chicago and two in L.A. — are to be announced Tuesday at a news event in New York hosted by the cracker brand and Urban Farming, a Detroit-based nonprofit.
The announcement comes about a year after Triscuit and Urban Farming joined forces to create 50 community gardens in 20 spots around the U.S. from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.
Triscuit, which is a brand of Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc., and Urban Farming plan to announce Tuesday that they're going to replant the 50 gardens from last year, create the five in Chicago and Los Angeles and develop 10 other urban farming projects in Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis and Tampa, Fla.
The announcement is to be made at New York City's Madison Square Park.
Residents in cities across the United States are increasingly turning empty, often-blighted land into gardens and farms. Urban Farming has been part of that push in its home city of Detroit since 2005, when it put its first gardens in the ground.
The group and Triscuit say the community gardens will give neighborhood residents access to more nutritious and healthier foods, which is consistent with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's mission to create more sustainable and diverse communities.
A HUD official is scheduled to be on hand for the event.
"We want to inspire Americans across the country to join the home farming movement," said Jim Low, director of marketing for Triscuit.
Low wouldn't say how much money Kraft was devoting to the effort, citing a company policy not to disclose details of spending on such projects. But he did say Kraft has helped to create a website to promote home gardens, and Triscuit is including cards with basil or dill seeds in 8 million packages of its crackers to encourage shoppers to grow at home.
Taja Sevelle, executive director and founder of Urban Farming, said the group hopes to encourage everyday Americans to take up farming — no matter the scale.
"They can start learning to grow their own food, if you just have a terrace or a window sill, or you just want to put something on your countertop in the kitchen," Sevelle said. "If you don't have land, you still can garden."
Associated Press writer David Runk contributed to this report.