Blodgett Urban Garden (BUG) spans over two (2) acres in the heart of historic Third Ward – less than one mile southeast of downtown Houston, TX. BUG also borders Texas Southern University – a historically black university (HBCU), is within walking distance to Cuney Homes – a public housing development, and only two minutes from the University of Houston.
BUG’s presence in the community is the result of efforts by Texas Southern University students and residents who were concerned about the community where they lived, worked and studied had been designated a food desert. Since that time in 2012, BUG has served the community through its mission – to provide access to fresh produce, educate the community about gardening and good nutrition, and create a safe gathering place.
Starting with only 2 rows with 10 beds each, lined rose bushes on one side and lilies and other annual flowers used to pollinate the vegetable garden, BUG began to serve the community as a volunteer hub, gathering hub, and an education incubator. As a student-led organization based on the campus of Texas Southern University, entrepreneurial ideas blossomed, research projects were studied, and BUG became a house-hold name in the Greater Third Ward Community. After three (3) years, it was clear, BUG was not only needed to help foster research and policy, but it was also needed to help alleviate the food insecurity plaguing over 9,500 homes, or 46%, that are low income and over 10% receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) benefits.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, BUG expanded to help meet the increased food insecurity demand exacerbated by additional grocery store closures surrounding Third Ward, higher food prices, lack of transportation to healthy food options.
Today, BUG boasts over 90 beds of fresh fruits and vegetables growing throughout a given season and offers produce to community residents at a cost of donations only. It also helps reduce the transportation and operating cost of local businesses by providing access to organic produce to small businesses in the food and grocer industry at significantly-reduced rates.
With support from our volunteers, donors and sponsors like you, BUG will continue to provide access to fresh produce to those in need.