Atlanta builds the nation’s largest food forest to help tackle food insecurity

In a collaboration with the US Forest Service grant and the city’s municipality and a number of different NGOs, 7.1 acres of land are now filled with 2,500 pesticide-free plants.

This huge project is part of the city of Atlanta’s goal to bring healthy food within half a mile of 85 percent of Atlanta’s 500,000 residents by 2022. It also helps tackle food insecurity as 1 in 6 Georgians face it and 1 in 3 Brown Mill residents live below the poverty line. Furthermore, 1 in 4 Atlantans live in acute food deserts.

“Access to green space and healthy foods is very important. And that’s a part of our mission,” says Michael McCord, a certified arborist who helps manage the forest.

Over 1,000 volunteers and neighbours are working together with the parks department to water and maintain the forest.

Carla Smith, a local councilwoman who helped start the project, said: “It’s really a park for everyone,”

“Every time I go there’s a community there who respects and appreciates the fresh healthy foods. There’s a mentality there that people know to only take what they need.”

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