The Guilford Urban Farming Initiative – a Greensboro-based nonprofit focused on feeding the hungry, has been asked to partner with other groups in an effort to distribute over 1.3 million pounds of fresh produce to about 300,000 people across North Carolina in December this year.
The initiative, called appropriately the “Provide Fresh Against Hunger Program” is a wide-ranging collaboration between the county’s Farming Initiative, the State of North Carolina, the General Baptist State Convention, A.M.E. Zion Church and Gabor Farms.
The group effort, which is funded by a large state grant, will involve the collection and packing of freshly harvested produce from North Carolina’s “Black, Brown and disenfranchised farmers.”
The effort is meant to kill two birds with one stone: bring fresh, nutritional healthy food to communities that need it, and help support farmers of color.
In Mid-November, the state announced $5 million in grant money to address food insecurity needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coordinated effort will help see that all North Carolinians have to eat during the pandemic and it will also help some struggling producers.
A press release announcing the collaboration states, “The novel coronavirus has amplified the consequences that hunger and malnutrition impose on people who have no regular access to healthy, fresh, whole foods. Demographics show that poor, underserved black and brown people, living in food deserts, are far more likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, Diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and other negative health impacts, which make them overwhelmingly susceptible to contracting Covid-19.”
It concludes, “Therefore, it is more important than ever to correct this social injustice by making fresh food available to those in dire need. Thus, ensuring food justice in North Carolina is a moral responsibility that demands our immediate attention and concerted response.”
The program will also provide wages to about 20 people, mainly those who’ll help collect and package the food.
Anyone who wants more information on the program can contact Guilford Urban Farming Initiative Executive Director Paula Sieber at 336-404-2222 or at Letsbegufi@gmail.com.