Snapshots from the Field: Mississippi Delta

Brooke Smith, Director of WhyHunger’s Grassroots Action Network, is on the road this week in the Mississippi Delta, visiting our partner, Delta Fresh Foods Initiative (DFFI). Over the last several years, WhyHunger has supported development of the DFFI network and programming. Brooke sent us photos to show off the exciting projects they’re working on this spring!

The Mound Bayou school district is participating in the first Delta Farm to School project with the support of the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative. This summer, DFFI will partner with Teach for America interns and Delta teachers to develop the first comprehensive Mississippi-focused school garden curriculum, and align it with the new statewide core curriculum guidelines. By the time the school bell rings next fall, Delta students will be growing fresh fruits and vegetables for their school cafeteria and learning critical math, history, reading and life skills each step of the way!

Dorothy is a mentor and champion for farmers and growers across the Delta. A nutrition advocate, school nurse, youth organizer, Delta Fresh Foods Initiative board member, and all-around community builder, Dorothy is currently converting an abandoned Head Start facility into a comprehensive community center. The five structures are being refurbished by student and community volunteers and include a fitness center; a weekly food pantry; a community kitchen; two greenhouses for production of sprouts and greens; a garden planted with lettuce, sweet potatoes, peppers and onions; compost production; free range chickens; and – on the day I was there – some pretty happy kids playing a pro-level game of tag around the maze of truck-tires planted with bright marigolds and more produce!

Brooke Smith