If it seemed like the conversation on food deserts in Guilford County had calmed down a little bit over the last two years – well, it’s about to get more attention again.
On Sunday, August 18, the NC NAACP’s Anti-Poverty Committee, in collaboration with Sandhills Cooperation Association and Sandhills Area farmers, will start the “Bountiful Land Food for All” Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Trinity AME Zion Church at 631 E. Florida St. in Greensboro.
The new market will offer fresh, local, seasonal produce.
According to a press release this will be the group’s “initial salvo to end food apartheid.”
In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about too many Guilford County residents being a good distance from stores and markets selling healthy foods – and some national studies have put the county high on the list nationally due to the extent of “food deserts” in the area.
The Bountiful Land project includes two strategic initiatives: One is to get “fresh, whole, affordable foods to local food deserts” and the other is to “offer new commercial outlets for small farmers of color.”
“These twin aims are designed to make food deserts habitable for families who are denied convenient access to mainstream grocers and to ensure that black and brown growers are able to retain their family farms by keeping them productive,” the press release from the group of collaborators said. “The direct-to-consumer seasonal produce will be priced to make healthy eating affordable and accessible to all citizens (irrespective of income) on the east side of Greensboro. The Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market will offer Greensboro’s hungriest citizens fresh, nutritional supplements to the shelf stable items provided by food pantries.”
The project is part of the NC NAACP’s larger “Loaves and Fishes” initiative that’s meant to promote food justice and community development across North Carolina.
Deborah Barnes, the chair of the NC NAACP’s Anti-Poverty Committee, stated this week that this help meets a very important need in Guilford County.
“Food security – access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life – is, or should be, an inalienable right,” she said. “That anyone is denied access to healthy food in one of the wealthiest, technologically advanced nations of the world is nothing less than a crime against humanity. Thus, ensuring food justice in North Carolina is a moral responsibility that demands our immediate, concerted response.”
The Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market is also being established to help build stronger intergenerational, interracial, interfaith communities that “honor our common humanity and needs.”
After this initial event Sunday, markets will be held regularly – every two weeks – throughout the fall at Trinity AME Zion Church, starting on Sunday, Oct. 13.