An exciting development on the Westside has been around food and agriculture within the community. Bill Bolling, Board Chairman of Food Well Alliance; J. Olu Baiyewu, Director of Programs & Outreach at Food Well Alliance; and Carol Hunter, Executive Director of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture came together to speak on the growth of urban ag on the Westside at the October 2nd Virtual Transform Westside Summit. As Covid-19 continues to rock the nation, the three guest speakers recounted how they continue to show up and show out for the Westside community in its time of need.
Carol Hunter, Executive Director of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture
Executive Director Carol Hunter reflected on the efforts of Truly Living Well to meet the increased demand for locally sourced food in Westside neighborhoods. The dynamic natural garden boasts “84 raised beds” and “over 100 trees” that offer healthy food to a community which many consider to be a food desert. Hunter also acknowledged how a partnership with the Westside Future Fund has garnered investment relationships, volunteerism, and donations vital to the sustainability of the garden. For many residents who trust and depend on it, Truly Living Well is more than a source of fresh food—it’s a source of spiritual communion, education, and connection with the local community.
J. Olu Baiyewu, Director of Programs & Outreach for Food Well Alliance
“Food is a tool for building communities,” said J. Olu Baiyewu, the Director of Programs & Outreach for Food Well Alliance. In the midst of Covid-19, one may be hard-pressed to disagree. As urban agriculture continues to gain traction on the Westside, organizations such as Food Well Alliance are increasingly necessary in assisting community gardens and helping farmers thrive by offering grants, tools, and services to sustain operations.
Bill Bolling, Board Chairman of Food Well Alliance
Bill Bolling, Board Chairman of Food Well Alliance, focused on the work of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, speaking on how the community voiced its need for food security on the Westside and how ACFB has stepped up to meet that need. With the continued support of volunteers and those making donations, as well as a partnership with Westside Future Fund, ACFB is helping to educate youth in the field of agriculture while continuing to stand in the gap for those experiencing or at risk of food insecurity.
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