Like most mothers, Meena from Pakistan wants her children to be healthy, to go to school and pursue their dreams.

These are opportunities Meena never had.

“My family couldn’t afford to send me to school, and I was married at a young age,” she shares. “My dream to become a teacher was left in vain. I do not want the same for my children.”

But breaking the cycle of poverty is challenging for farming families like Meena’s. Unpredictable weather, water scarcity, and less available land for planting have made it difficult for farmers in Badin, Pakistan to grow enough crops to eat and sell.

Determined to give her three sons the chance for a brighter future, Meena tried her hand at kitchen gardening.

Kitchen gardening is part of a PWS&D-supported project with Canadian Foodgrains Bank that is helping families like Meena’s overcome hunger, earn an income and improve nutrition.

Meena and her family outside their home. Photo: Community World Service Asia

Through the project, Meena learned how to prepare a small garden in her front yard and water the vegetable seeds she received.

Today, Meena is growing apple gourds, spinach, carrots, beans and much more. She’s able to provide the nutritious food her children need—but that’s not all she’s proud of.

“My garden has allowed us to save the money we previously spent on purchasing vegetables and fruits from the market,” Meena reports. “In addition to meeting the nutritional needs of my family, selling my produce has helped me generate revenue.”

Meena is also addressing problems of water scarcity. With her earnings, she and her husband constructed a small pit to store water. Now even in dry spells, Meena can pump the water she needs to hydrate her crops.

Meena’s kitchen garden has become an important way to bring her family out of poverty and hunger and make sure her children’s story is one of hope instead of hardship.

*This project received support from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. This project was undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada.