The Mississippi Delta is one of the most fertile areas in the country—its rich soil is perfect for growing sweet potatoes, greens, peas, watermelons and much more. Yet the area struggles with pervasive hunger, and many residents do not have access to healthy food.
Delta Fresh Foods Initiative is changing that with programs that help put fresh, locally grown produce into the hands and onto the plates of Delta area residents. Founded in 2009, the organization pioneered a farm-to-school program, connecting school food providers with local growers to get local produce into school meals. They have built more than 30 raised garden beds for schools across the region and partnered with educators to create a garden-centered curriculum for 5th grade math and language arts.
Their latest project is the North Bolivar County Good Food Revolution, which works to create economic opportunities and better health outcomes in the area by building a strong local food system. They are also engaging the area’s young people in meaningful ways by training them to help with data collection, consumer education, food production, distribution, and marketing. The project also includes a mobile produce market that accepts SNAP benefits and helps to bring fresh, local produce to an even broader community.
To further ensure meaningful change around health and sustainability, a new workshop series entitled “Real Food is Good Medicine” will educate the community on how healthy foods can help heal many chronic diseases and a soil regeneration pilot project in Bolivar County will begin to restore the foundation for healthy food production in a region permeated with glyphosate and other toxins.
Delta Fresh Foods Initiative is committed to building sustainable, equitable, community-driven food systems around the Mississippi Delta to strengthen the local food economy and promote healthy lifestyles to local residents.
For more on the great work Delta Fresh Foods Initiative has been doing, visit www.DeltaFreshFoods.org
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