AUSTIN, Texas — Sowing seeds for future generations is Larry Franklin’s mission for his nonprofit, Black Lives Veggies, a hands-on gardening experience to empower the next generation battling food insecurities in underserved communities.

“Kids from disenfranchised communities are getting the real opportunity to plant, grow and harvest their own vegetables,” said Franklin

Franklin and his team works with a group of kids from the Austin-area Boys and Girls Club.  

The group teaches the basics of harvesting, planting and growing their own vegetables.

According to a study from the Hunger Relief Organization Feeding Texas, 1 in 7 Texans experience food insecurities, equaling 1.4 million households in Texas.

Franklin says in order for a person to have an interest in growing their own vegetables, first they have to know what’s available to them.

“Traditionally we wouldn’t get this opportunity coming from the community we come from.. I’m a prime example,” said Franklin.

Following the death of George Floyd last summer, Franklin started Black Lives Veggies as his form of protest to racial inequalities. Franklin says he hopes to uplift and educate the youth in communities of color.

Thirteen-year-old Delasia Toston has been part of the program since it started earlier this year. 

Toston says she enjoys getting her hands dirty and picking the vegetables.

“It’s fun. I like it because it’s teaching me new things to do with the garden. I’m learning things because I never really knew.”, said Delasia Toston

Franklin believes by providing these opportunities to the youth he’s planting a seed in their minds for entrepreneurship that can grow into wealth for generations to come.